Volunteers attended an intensive 20-hour training program, which included crowd management and interpersonal skills, along with basics of psychology, first aid and safety. Organizers distributed copies of the volunteer manual to the volunteers, and an electronic copy also was available to volunteers on their handheld devices.
“We have 350 volunteers in total — 200 males and 150 females,” said Tamim Matouk, supervisor of Community Outreach and head of volunteers at the cultural program. “The whole thing is about giving volunteers a meaningful experience, and that is our motto.”
Saeed Al-Basheri, a student from Dammam University, is a volunteer at the Valencia Sports Academy Tent. This is the second year he volunteered for the program; he has many duties and sees it as a great opportunity. He is building his Public Relations skills and learning to prepare reports.
Al-Basheri says that facing the crowd is his biggest challenge. “I go through some tough situations when dealing with the crowd,” he said. “But it all works out in the end, as the volunteers work together and cooperate.”
That “meaningful experience” can be a valuable as volunteers often receive job offers from companies throughout the Kingdom.
Companies recognize the hard work that volunteers put into their task; such is the case of Bader Batyoor, a senior at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahad University who is also an assistant to Matouk.
He has volunteered with Saudi Aramco on many occasions, and this is his third time volunteering with the Cultural Program. “I have more than 1,100 volunteering hours with Saudi Aramco. Companies notice this on my resume and make me job offers,” said Batyoor.
The hard work that volunteers put in this year will not go unnoticed; organizers created a process to evaluate volunteer performance that will be reflected in the database for future reference.
“These volunteers deserve our gratitude,” Matouk said. “These events couldn’t take place without the valuable contribution.”