(MENAFN -Arab News) Boeing Saudi Arabia has donated SR450,000 to a children's special needs center here.
“We don’t feel like we are donating. It really comes from the heart. We feel that it is an actual responsibility because we do benefit from the market. So this is our way of giving back,” Ahmed A. Jazzar, president of Boeing Saudi Arabia, told Arab News at a function that included several diplomats and members of the public.
“It gives me great pleasure when I raise the Boeing flag on occasions like these because Hope Center is really helping people and supporting programs that help needy people,” he said.
Hussein Fayez of Hope Center said the staff members deserve all the attention and appreciation because they were taking care of the center and the children. “There is need to have more such centers and also awareness," he said.
Jazzar said Boeing and Saudi Arabia share a history of collaboration that goes back more than 60 years. “Our Global Citizenship Program focuses on five different sectors, but in Saudi Arabia we have decided to focus on two: health care and education."
He said Hope Center is unique because it is run by passionate philanthropic and dedicated people whose sole purpose in life is to help needy children.
Uzma Raheem, the center's founder and director, said she started with meager resources, two rooms and five children in 1999. The center has grown to become the only multilingual center for life skills in the Kingdom, with more than 60 children from 23 different countries, in a modified two-villa facility in Al-Nahda. It ranks among the top 10 rehabilitation centers in Saudi Arabia.
Among its success stories are former students who found jobs and married. Three students who could not walk were eventually able to do so, and 14 others moved on to regular schools.
“It is a milestone for us today. Boeing's aid will go a long way. It has made it increasingly possible for these children to grow up and take care of themselves,” she said.
Raheem said they now want to bring in more specialists and make their data available for research. “Our resources are free for use by other centers in need,” she said.
Jazzar said Boeing helps many institutions in the Kingdom including women’s societies in Al-Jouf, Al-Qassim and Jazan. "We help Al-Ihsan organization, which sponsors physicians to go to remote areas to help people there."
In Riyadh, Boeing sponsors programs to help teachers detect if children have learning problems, he said. Recently Boeing bought some dialysis machines for Kilana, a society in Riyadh where treatment is provided free for all needy patients.