The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), the Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has concluded its participation in the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), which took place in Istanbul, Turkey.
The two-day WHS, which organised as an initiative by United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and was supervised by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, was attended by nearly 60 heads of state and government, more than 6,000 officials from international bodies and numerous representatives from the world’s media organisations.
WHS saw the holding of a series of sessions during which participants discussed ways to set in motion an ambitious and forward-looking programme for action to collectively address future humanitarian challenges. World leaders and officials pledged to make more efforts to solve crises around the world and a number of special meetings were convened to discuss issues on the world humanitarian work agenda.
Commenting on the importance of TBHF’s participation, Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Salam Ya Seghar, an initiative by TBHF, said: "This important summit gave THBF the opportunity to highlight the efforts of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, in raising public awareness about issues related to refugees and the need to provide them with healthcare and education, especially children.”
“As the first global platform of its type, we were able to both learn from other charity organisations attending as well as pass on our own wealth of expertise that TBHF has gained from striving to meet Her Highness’ vision to alleviate suffering among displaced people and children worldwide. Our participation saw us with a special stand at the summit, through which we highlighted the humanitarian projects that were implemented by the Big Heart Foundation during the period July 2015 to May 2016," she added.
TBHF’s delegation at WHS held a range of meetings with officials and experts involved in global humanitarian affairs, briefing them about its objectives. The talks touched on ways to enhance avenues of cooperation in order to improve the poor conditions experienced by refugees, underprivileged people and those affected by wars and disasters around the world.
Since its inception, TBHF has succeeded in meeting the needs of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refuges. It has provided life-saving medical services to over 365,000 Syrian displaced persons and given more than 400,000 others food and financial aid. In February, 2016, the foundation pledged to donate US$ 350,000 towards two projects run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Iraq survive tough winter conditions.
TBHF has contributed through its humanitarian assistance to changing the lives of thousands of refugees worldwide, due to its nature and scope of work. The foundation has reached out to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries
and Rohingya Muslims in Indonesia, as well as Palestinian refugees in sisterly Arab countries. It has worked to enable refugees to live a humanitarian and dignified life by providing a package of integrated services and aid that includes healthcare and education. It also provides financial aid to enable displaced people to meet their urgent needs and cover their essential costs of living, such as rent, food, fuel and clothing.
In June 2015, Her Highness Sheikh Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, launched TBHF to coincide with World Refugee Day. It followed the decision issued by Her Highness to transform what was then The Big Heart Campaign into a global humanitarian foundation. The move was aimed at redoubling efforts to help refugees and people in need worldwide, with the new foundation adding significantly to the UAE's rich portfolio and long record of humanitarian initiatives.