The Department of Geography and Information Systems in participation with the Department of Communication and Information Technology hosted the national (Dafe'a) program at the College of Arts in the University of Dammam on Tuesday, 10th of this month (October) to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction and to mark the commencement of the curriculum activities in the Natural Hazards module offered by the Department of Geography. The program was attended by the Dean of the College of Arts Dr. Amira al-Jaafari, the Dean of the Deanship of Community Service and Sustainable Development Dr. Najah al-Qaraawi, the Head of the Department of Communications and Media Technology Dr. Basma Al Ghanim, the Head of the Department of Geography and Information Systems Dr. Badria Habib, a number of faculty members from both departments, as well as the students of the Department of Geography.

(Dafeh) National Program

 The Deanship of Community Service and Sustainable Development offers (Dafeh) in response to the call for the universities in the Kingdom to undertake more social duties and to safeguard the society with conscious, voluntary, human shields, who have global views, international experience and national inclinations. The message of the program is to achieve leadership in improving the community.

Several projects fall under the program including: the Home Safety Motive, which will be launched, God willing,  in 2018, the  Traffic Safety Motive which will be launched in 2017, and My Scholarship Motive (Sand) which was launched last year and through which 45 students were sent in a scholarship trip to Abu Dhabi.

The program takes the form of intensive training courses for the participants conducted by qualified coaches. The courses are followed by five days of field training carried out under the supervision of experts where in the last day the participants make proposals for a successful launch of the project. If the proposed ideas are appreciated by the experts, they receive financial support and get implemented.   

Sustainable Development

The meeting started with a speech by the Head of the Department of Geography Dr. Badria al-Habib in which she discussed the importance of activating these programs in modern-day societies.  Dr. Badria al-Habib thanked Dr. Najah al- Qar'awi for the efforts of the Deanship of Community Service and welcomed the esteemed attendees of faculty members. She also expressed her happiness with the participation of the Dean of the College of Arts Dr. Amira al-Jaafari and her support for such programs in the university which reflects her efforts to develop the college's programs.

After that, Ms. Noura Al Rasheed - Motive Project Manager - spoke about the program, its goals and vision and its future projects. Coaches Majida al-Shammari and Nadia Al-Qarni also took part talking about the program. Ms. Al Rasheed commented in her speech: The program began in 2014 and continues to date and over 700 students from the University of Dammam were trained by Motive.” She continued: "the participants are entitled to receive a national license and are classified as a second line of defense." She referred to the increasing mortality rate caused by natural disasters in recent years and how this rate will continue to increase unless curbed by introducing prevention and safety practices and raising the community awareness of these practices. 

It is worth mentioning that all trainees receive the (Motive) bag that was specifically designed for the University of Dammam in Korea and manufactured in China. The cost of the bag is 1,500 SR and it is provided free of charge to the participants in the program. In the end of the meeting, Dr. Badria Habib presented a shield to the Dean of Community Service and Sustainable Development for her input in initiating sustainable development in the College of Arts. She also thanked the audience of professors and students as well as the volunteers who talked about their experiences in the program and called on colleagues to attempt this unique and useful experience.

Written by: Abrar Amar
Student in the Department of Communications and Information Technology