Although it has been almost 30 years since his passing, King Khalid is still remembered fondly for everything that he had done during his time as king of Saudi Arabia. Some have even taken his principles and values to heart — especially in the service of the individual and the society — which brings us to the King Khalid Foundation (KKF).
KKF was established in 2001 as a royal, independent, national institution that is not only geared at enhancing social, educational, cultural and vocational standards, but also holds the vision of being the leader in philanthropic and developmental work within the Kingdom. The Foundation has been managed since its inception by the Director General, HRH Princess Ban- deri bint Abdulrahman Al Faisal.
Holding the belief that all people have the inherent capacity to effect change in their lives and their communities, KKF uses its resources and expertise to make a positive impact in people’s lives, they also work in partnership with other organizations to provide innovative solutions to critical social and economic challenges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Think of the Foundation as a catalyst for change. Whether it funds social and economic development projects (including training, research, and policy development programs), or awards citizens and corporations for their contributions to the Kingdom, KKF is in the business of giving the people of the country the push and recognition they deserve for working to make our nation a better place.
When Oasis met with HRH Princess Banderi, she spoke of the multitude of NGOs scattered all around the Kingdom. She spoke of the huge amounts donated by Saudis (other than zakat) to philanthropic societies. She also spoke of the heartbreaking scene of a 20 something year-old Saudi man going to collect unemployment compensation from a local NGO and having to leave a thumb print instead of his signature because of being illiterate. How could all these facts go together? A lack of proper networking between organizations and a lack of transparency or efficiency within an organization itself can result in a weak link between resources and those in need of the resources. Here, the King Khalid Foundation has stepped in to create proper links, a stirring committee, successful models that NGOs can easily follow, and becoming pioneers them-selves in researching and developing proposals for the like of abuse prevention laws and creating awareness workshops.
Actions and achievements
Words are merely words, but actions speak volumes, and in the short time that the Foundation has been around, it has spoken abundantly loud and clear.
The KKF Model for Community Development in the Qilwah Province marks the first time in the country that a local community has been involved in actively identifying and advocating for their own development needs by following the KKF Model.
The Saudi Bee-Keepers Cooperative which was established by KKF as a model for small businesses. This model enables small businesses to work together towards their own mutual benefit.
The Warmth Campaign, held in the winter of 2008, was the first emergency relief project of its kind that focused on helping areas of the country that were affected by the extreme cold weather at the time. The campaign provided support and aid to the people of the northern regions of Saudi Arabia, bringing in more than 60,000 pieces of blankets and winter clothing and 3,000 bags of coal.
The Capacity Building in the Social Participatory Development Field is one of a number of training and capacity building programs that KKF engaged in to transfer knowledge towards building reliable and sustainable development and governance within Saudi Arabia.
Powerful research projects of the KKF include their pivotal work on the “Women and Child Abuse Prevention Law” which has been adopted by the government to deal with issues of physical violence, child marriages, and difficulties faced by divorced women in getting custody of their children. Setting yet another precedent, this is the first time a legislation that was developed and proposed by an NGO was taken up by the government!
King Khalid Award
As always, part of change is action, but it’s not enough to fund and undertake projects, you have to teach others to pursue change themselves and recognize those that do that and work towards a better life for the people and societies of the Kingdom. KKF conceived the King Khalid Award back in 2007 for just such a purpose. The awards break up into four categories:
- National Achievement: related to improving social life in the Kingdom.
- Social Sciences: related to the study of Saudi society and developing it within the realms of social science and service.
- Responsible Competitiveness: related to private industries’ contributions to the Saudi society
- Social Projects: related to projects directed at taking care of a group or groups of Saudi society that affects positive change in their lives and their community.
Just this year, the National Commercial Bank was awarded the Responsible Competitiveness Award, at the 3rd Global Competitiveness Forum held last January in Riyadh, for the bank’s responsible communication. The second-place winner of this award was Al Zamil Industrial which were given the award for their product and service innovation, and the third was Al Fa- nar for their responsible supply chain.
What the Future Holds
Recognizing that we live in a dynamic, fast-moving world, KKF sees the need for a more in-depth understanding of the nature of development and philanthropic work; more responsible giving through rigorous selection, accountability, monitoring and evaluation; and the need for increased capacity building within the nonprofit sector in general.
With that in mind, KKF has decided to focus its grant-making efforts on four program areas: training and capacity building of local nonprofit organizations and local development practitioners; encouraging community development and emergency relief projects; conducting research studies; and awarding the King Khalid Award to outstanding individuals and corporations fortheir contributions to the social and economic development of the Kingdom.
The Foundation seeks to be the model for responsible giving that thinks strategically and maximizes collaborations with foundations, private companies and academic institutions to create joint quality programs for the benefit of the Saudi society. One such collaboration is with the Columbia Business School Executive Education division in the United States which will conduct a program in May for nonprofit leaders and teams in the Kingdom, covering general management courses that range from nonprofit management and strategic analysis to decision-making and acquiring and allocating resources.
KKF’s Warmth Campaign mentioned earlier had a slogan, “Together, let’s make this winter warmer”. Seeing what the Foundation has done so far and what it plans to do in the future, that simple phrase could be adjusted slightly to encompass KKF’s ambitious and noble vision: “Together, let’s make this country better.”
The KKF is currently, amongst many projects, preparing for the King Khalid exhibition which will take place soon at the National Museum in Riyadh. For this exhibition, the foundation has already funded research to gather all information regarding King Khalid. They have also prepared for a coffee-table book about the door that King Khalid had ordered for the Ka’ba during his lifetime. The book, which will be done by Al Mansouria Foundation, will include original sketches of the Ka’ba door.
For more info on the King Khalid Foundation and to volunteer with the foundation visit: www.kkf.org.sa