LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
HH Princess Abeer S. Bin Farhan Al Saud
After graduating from high school, I took a gap year to explore and pursue my passions and went on a self-discovery escapade to Southeast Asia. While touring the Mekong Delta from Saigon to the remote island of Phu Quoc, I witnessed firsthand what true poverty was, in floating villages. However, where there was poverty, there were vast untouched opportunities – the local villagers were unknowingly meso entrepreneurs; they were skilled craftsmen building handicrafts and on top of that the region was abundant with untapped resources and inactivated industries. With proper vocational training, a system would be established and the villagers could catalyze economic growth by exporting products and beautifying local services. I understood that poverty is not the only challenge standing in the face of progress and socioeconomic improvement, but one of many inter-related problems. On top of that, and in reality, what was keeping the villagers from progressing is not skill shortages and scarcity in resources but the lack of basic market and technical knowledge and vocational training.
My exposure to Vietnam was my catalyst for sustainable impact. I became interested in creating innovative culturally relevant sustainable solutions to have positive social impact in societies. At first, I wanted to understand how to create sustainable socio-economic growth, how public-private partnerships worked, how multilateral impact the developing world. I had a lot of questions but not a lot of answers. So, I thought the best way to learn was to actually do.
I came to the understanding that just like in lesser developed countries, poverty, lack of financial literacy, and adequate mentorship stand in the way of progression; in developed countries, consumerism that is not balanced with production and coupled with untenable behaviours prevent sustaining progress. Achieving truly sustainable socio-economic progress anywhere is more complex than applying small projects or initiatives. Our shared efforts to bring good to our societies and contribute to development is best achieved through an impact-driven approach of moral responsibility, which I believe is the building block for anything that is truly sustainable. And to apply a comprehensive model to achieve truly sustainable goals we must: adopt moral responsibility as the main infrastructure, apply an integrated approach and promote partnerships amongst individuals and communities.
Having experimented with applied development in different parts of the world and driven by the desire to serve mankind, I became passionate about the idea of establishing a non-profit organization and I decided to invest all my energy and pursue my passion in my beloved country, henceforth, the Sustainable Development Association (talga) was founded.
Our community tentds to be purpose-driven, leading by example, where we work continuously on preserving a values-driven culture above all else. At the Sustainable Development Association (talga), we believe that giving is reciprocal and not one-way. Through the programs and initiatives that are mostly done in partnerships and implemented by our purpose-driven community, we are cultivating a culture of serving, active participation, teamwork, learning, productivity and accountability.
We all have a moral obligation. Through the Sustainable Development Association (talga), we aspire to maximize our contributions to aligning the sustainable development goals with the Kingdom’s vision 2030 and to truly achieve sustainable impacts that are both subjectively and culturally relevant to the fields of development and wellbeing, in addition we transform the challenges we face to opportunities of various practical solutions through creativity, teamwork and partnerships. Imagine if our enormous potentials were unlocked, and if each one of us acted now upon our diverse personal interests, how much more progress in the multidimensional areas of development and wellbeing will be achieved.