Aramco Asia youth program helps 'left-behind' children expand horizons


Aramco Asia youth program proved a success in Beijing. 30 “left-behind children” from various ethnic groups experienced a happy journey in the country’s capital. The program reiterates Aramco Asia’s commitment of social responsibility and community engagement.

He Mingxing, a student from the Dai ethnic group at a primary school in Tengchong county in Yunnan province, is one of 30 young students from the province participating in the Aramco Asia Youth Program in Beijing last week from 27 to 31 July.

"You cannot imagine how excited I am," said He. "I will tell my classmates what I saw and heard in Beijing.

During their one week stay in the country’s capital, the children paid visits a variety of heritage sites in Beijing to learn more about traditional Chinese culture, and worked in groups to improve their teamwork capabilities.

The 30 students from the Bai, Dai, Miao, Wa and Lisu ethnic groups, aged between 8 and 12, come from low-income families in the province in Southwest China. Most of them are "left-behind children" who spend little time with their parents each year.

The program, supported by Aramco Asia and co-organized by China Daily, China Children's Press and Publications Group, China Youth Development Foundation and the "Children's Love" Charity Fund, is designed to help students expand their horizons, meet new friends and enrich their knowledge.

"By organizing this charity program, we hope our society will pay more attention to rural children's mental health," said Yao Wen, deputy Party chief of the CYDF.

“It is our civic duty to help make the communities in which we operate better places to live and work,” said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, president of Aramco Asia. “All the projects we have funded have focused on our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) pillars of community, knowledge and environment.”

Sun Shangwu, editorial board member of China Daily, agreed and saw future prospect of further cooperation with Aramco Asia in charity programs.

"As a national English-language newspaper, China Daily has long committed itself to supporting children from low-income families in rural areas by utilizing its well-trained English news reporting teams and strong global awareness," Sun said. "The partnership with Aramco Asia is a new starting point for China Daily. We hope we can have more chances to organize and participate in similar programs to help more children from low-income areas."

Aramco Asia, a wholly owned affiliate of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), serves as a business and cultural exchange hub between Saudi Aramco and China. Apart from expanding business portfolios in the Asia Pacific region for the parent company, it also plays a key role in supporting corporate social responsibility programs in China.

In the past three years, Aramco Asia has spared no efforts in helping students in China's rural areas improve quality of life and living standards. The company helped 200 students at two primary schools in Yunnan and Fujian provinces renovate their dormitories and provided them with safer and improved accommodation. It also built 10 new bridges in Yunnan that benefits 300 local residents.

"We recognize the important role of community engagement and have made significant progress in our citizenship strategy," said Al-Buainain. “We strive to improve the environmental health and safety of these communities, enhance educational opportunities, increase economic viability and promote energy sustainability through conservation and efficiency efforts."