Sangha Estidama Hub is a business-to-consumer program designed to equip youths, who make up 67 percent of the Saudi population, with the necessary knowledge, mindset, skills and tools to become active citizens and lead the transition toward a strong economy.

It aims to help them participate in achieving Saudi Vision 2030 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In April 2020, Sangha’s founder Raghad Fathaddin was inspired by her experience at UNESCO, while working on a project called Art Lab. It highlighted the power of arts in achieving the SDGs, and Fathaddin began working on the startup that month.

“I used the streets of Paris as an outlet to communicate messages and gain further insight on people’s emotional and mental state during the pandemic,” she told Arab News.

“As a result, in October 2020, I moved back to Saudi Arabia and that’s when Sangha was commercially registered and based,” she added. It is an economic system that encourages and supports young people to live and lead sustainable and fulfilled careers, lives and futures.

“Sangha” means community in Sanskrit and “Estidama” is derived from the Arabic word sustainability.

“We are driven by the belief that the state of the world is a reflection of the state of the citizens of the world,” she said.

“We shape a more sustainable future and accelerate human progress through facilitating a culture of inner well-being for the Saudi future leaders through Sangha’s Flourish program,” she added.

Sangha has a very diverse team living across the globe in Italy, the UK, and Korea, as well as Saudi Arabia.

“We operate online, optimizing various platforms to ensure clear communication and coordination. Whereas, when it comes to delivering our program, we collaborate with like-minded communities and entities who serve similar demographics,” she said.

The program requires minimal materials such as pens, paper, which they recycle and reuse, as well as tablets for surveys.

Sangha employs a holistic, informal, interactive learning and facilitation method, in which each session requires participants to go through a set of activities that boost well-being and positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and purpose.

“In today’s society, and more so in the one of tomorrow, success is based on confidence, autonomy and the ability to create relationships,” she said.

“Mastering emotions and developing relationship skills are vital to succeed in life,” she added.

Fathaddin highlighted how artificial intelligence is changing the job market. “This demands the prioritization of emotional intelligence, as well as a certain level of social, environmental and economic awareness to overcome the challenges of our time,” she said.

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