Created in 1962, Al Oula Foundation was the first Saudi organisation to support and empower females as a cause. The Jeddah-based non-profit helps women who devote their time to their special talent: design and production of handmade traditional souvenirs.
The charity with the name that means “first” in Arabic offers these gifted women a chance to work on ad-hoc projects so they can achieve financial independence. When working on collaborations, the participants who handcraft the keepsakes get to benefit directly. Al Oula Foundation aims to help women discover hidden talents to help them attain economic stability too. Also, females who have difficulty in finding something they excel in get trained in a skill that will lead to the same goal, being able to support themselves so they feel strong and empowered.
L’Occitane en Provence x Al Oula Foundation
Every year, L’Occitane sells fundraising products to promote women’s leadership. And for the recent International Women’s Day, L’Occitane Middle East supported the women who work through Al Oula Foundation, which they believed to be a relevant partner in the region to help spread awareness around women's empowerment.
They collaborated on a cuddly toy that was 100 percent financed by the French company known for its natural beauty products based on the power of plants. The handmade bunnies crafted using a crochet technique come in three different neutral colours for gender equality and various looks that represent individuality. Each one took up to two-and-a-half hours to make, showing the pure dedication of these emboldened and gifted women. If you’re lucky enough, you may still be able to get the cute gift with a purchase of L’Occitane’s Shea Baby collection.
Regional influencers like Yara Alnamlah and Mimi have shared their support for the initiative on Instagram. Alnamlah, a leading Saudi beauty reference, captioned her picture with: “I’m so happy to be a part of this initiative by @Loccitaneme, they collaborated with Al Oula Foundation, a KSA non-profit organisation to make this cute toy which was 100% funded by @Loccitaneme . The funds generated from this collaboration will promote women’s leadership and help women achieve financial independence!”