Microsoft founder Bill Gates has helped launch the Saudi Philanthropic Fellowship Programme - an initiative devised in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The programme - entitled Shaghaf, meaning passionate in Arabic - is part of the Riyadh-based King Khalid Foundation, which hosted the launch ceremony featuring Gates, the kingdom's minister of social affairs Dr Majed Al Qassabi, and general secretary of KKF Princess Albandari bint Abdulrahman Al Faisal.
The programme aims to attract young Saudis to non-profit organisations and to develop their knowledge and skills so they can become leaders in the sector.
Starting this year, 10 people will be enrolled in the programme that will last for two years and include a full time job at an NPO within the kingdom, as well as training and experience at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Princess Albandari said: "It is the first tangible fruit of the cooperation between the KKF, the pioneer Saudi foundation, and the BMGF, the globally well-renowned prominent philanthropic foundation.
"It is a by-product of the two sides' approaches as funding foundations, to cooperate, innovate and participate in establishing social and economic development projects in their areas of speciality."
Addressing attendees at the launch, Gates expressed his appreciation for the number of young Saudis keen to commit to philanthropic work, spoke about his foundation and its achievements, and gave advice for how to succeed in business and philanthropy.
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