CULTURAL AMBASSADORS

Qatar 2019 | QATAR NATIONAL VISION 2030 | INTERVIEW

Keenly aware that their success is contingent upon the social health of the body politic, leading firms are designing innovative CSR programs to address society's greatest hurdles.

Jack Saba
BIOGRAPHY
Jack Saba leads the stakeholders relations and public affairs department, guiding the company’s relationships and initiatives in Qatar. Under Sasol’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella, he has developed engaging initiatives such as the Qatar e-Nature mobile application in partnership with Friends of the Environment Center, which is aimed at raising awareness for Qatar’s rich biodiversity; the signature ‘Definitely Able’ initiative, which is aimed at building an inclusive society; and Accessible Qatar, an initiative that boosts accessibility for the disabled community. Earning a degree in computer science, Saba started his career with Ericsson before switching to PR and media.

What are Sasol's key CSR initiatives in Qatar?

Sasol has launched several key initiatives as part of its CSR program. They include support for the disabled community, promotion of accessibility and environmental awareness, health education on diabetes for children, and support for entrepreneurship in Qatar. Definitely Able is one of our flagship initiatives. It seeks to empower the disabled community in Qatar by raising awareness of their abilities and encouraging them to showcase their skills and convey their message to society. The Accessible Qatar initiative began with a website and smartphone application providing instant information on the level of accessibility in many local public venues before it developed into partnerships, sub-initiatives, and joint projects with stakeholders. Under this initiative, we work with various parties as well as disabled individuals to make Qatar an accessible place for all residents and visitors. The Qatar e-Nature initiative uses technology to provide information about nature in Qatar, including plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, marine life, and natural reserves. It seeks to raise environmental awareness and introduce the public to the diverse nature of the country and encourage its protection.

Why is Sasol launching these initiatives in Qatar?

Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company based in South Africa with operations in various countries. The company gives the utmost attention to its responsibility toward the communities in which it operates, including Qatar. In addition to its core business in Qatar as a partner of Qatar Petroleum in the ORYX GTL venture, Sasol offers these initiatives as part of its CSR program. These reflect the values the company believes in and works to promote them among the youth. Sasol believes in the value of all groups, particularly young people, and the great role they can play in building their societies if they receive the appropriate support and opportunities to participate actively.

What is your assessment of the social impact of Sasol's initiatives?

Throughout the years, Sasol has launched several initiatives in Qatar that have now become leading initiatives and left a meaningful impact on the local community. The initiatives were well received, evolving into strategic relationships with the public sector and civil society, such as the National Tourism Council, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Museums, Qatar Foundation, Qatar University, the Qatar Diabetes Association, and others. These partnerships helped increase the number of beneficiaries and spurred a sharing of knowledge with stakeholders for the benefit of Qatari society. Definitely Able and Accessible Qatar also reached out to many people with disabilities, both males and females from various nationalities and cultural backgrounds, engaging them in various activities and giving them the opportunity to be active in their communities. Meanwhile, Qatar e-Nature reached hundreds of schools, motivating tens of thousands of students to learn more about their local environment, its diversity, and the need to protect it. The Qatar e-Nature School Contest is now in its sixth year, with more students across the country enthusiastically participating. The initiative's partnerships expanded to include individuals and, consequently, broaden their outreach. Through programs like Accessible Qatar Ambassadors, individuals were encouraged to provide support for their communities. Through the support offered by Sasol, the ambassadors work to empower their communities and organize events that serve them and promote awareness of disability.

How are these CSR initiatives aligned with the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030?

Sasol initiatives are in line with the four pillars of QNV 2030, namely human, environmental, social, and economic development. Each serves more than one.