Stronger Together: How joining forces to do good makes the world a little better for families on Ramadan

  • The world’s largest  integrated oil and gas company does its bit to help families in need – smart logistics included.
  • Amid the COVID pandemic, Saudi Aramco and DHL partner on a community outreach project .

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc around the world. In Saudi Arabia too, this means families are suffering as the country is under strict lockdown and all but essential businesses are shut. 

Global energy giant Saudi Aramco has a long history of reaching out to the community. Starting operations in the Kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern province some 85 years ago, the company established its famous compound, mainly for expatriate workers and modelled on a U.S.-style community.   That did not stop it from reaching out to the nearby towns of Dhahran and Al Khobar, from where its local workforce hailed. Fast-forward to today,  and Aramco’s employee base is around 80 percent Saudi, while Dhahran and Al Khobar themselves are sprawling urban centers with wide U.S.-style highways - meanwhile Aramco has expanded its reach not just across the Saudi Arabia, but also to main energy centers across the globe, from Houston to The Hague.

Being a good corporate citizen

As the company expanded into one of the world’s major energy players, its corporate citizenship grew alongside. Today, it states that “ being a good citizen means more than doing good. It means acting with purpose in mobilizing our resources to generate opportunities that help make a positive impact on people and their communities.”

From sponsoring climate initiatives to fostering micro businesses, Aramco is involved in a wide range of initiatives in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and it even has its own private research-based university, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), which regularly ranks high in global indices.

Part of Aramco’s commitment is the support of communities at home. The company identifies populations in need where it can make an immediate and positive impact . So,  when COVID-19 hit, Aramco decided to act fast. Turning to its employees, it initiated a supply program to benefit families, offering to match whatever employees wanted to donate. As a result, 7,500 families have received three boxes per household, generously filled with food items as well as  general household and hygiene articles.

Offering key logistics support

Packaging materials, shipping and deliveries across the Kingdom were handled by DHL Express, which partnered with Aramco, offering logistics free of charge. This ensured supplies were dispatched and delivered just ahead of the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and the Iftar evening meal takes on special significance in terms of nourishment and gathering of the family.

Faysal Elhajjami, DHL Express’ country manager in Saudi Arabia, was delighted that all shipments were delivered just in time before Ramadan. “We are working under difficult conditions in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis,” he commented, “but everyone at DHL Express is out there doing their best, especially our couriers and frontline staff. It was an honor for us to partner with Saudi Aramco, supporting such a worthwhile project. Our motto is “Connecting People, Improving Lives” and it boosted the morale of the entire team to participate in making a difference to families in need before the Holy Month of Ramadan begins.” ― Michelle Bach

Published: April 2020

Images: Saudi Aramco, iStock, DHL