Education phase of Big Heart Campaign
The launch of the education phase of the campaign took place on February 10 and will continue till February 20 at The Dubai Mall.
The initiative turns its focus on educating the displaced children of the Syrian crisis. After providing
them with shelter, food, and health, the Big Heart Campaign has turned its focus on educating the displaced children of the Syrian crisis.
The charity, under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the UNHCR Eminent Advocate of Refugee Children, has launched the fourth phase of the campaign called the ‘No Lost Generation - Journey of Hope'.
The launch of the education phase of the campaign took place on February 10 and will continue till February 20 at The Dubai Mall. Activities are in place for children from 10am to 10pm at The Dubai Mall, Souq Arena, Galeries Lafayette.
Mohammed Abu Asaker, Public Information and Communications Officer of UNHCR told Khaleej Times said: "After phase 1 and phase 2, where we focused on providing health and shelter to the Syrian kids, we have now turned our attention on ‘feeding the minds' of the kids.”
He added: "A little money will go a long way for the children. They have been displaced in the worst possible way and apart from books, stationary, uniforms, fees, and hiring teachers, we are also looking to provide infrastructure for building new schools.”
Asaker stated that the campaign is set to continue till May 7.
Although 2.4 million Syrian refugees have so far been registered by the UNHCR, the actual number of refugees is much higher. Currently volunteer teachers are doing their best, alongside teachers at government schools where double shifts have been introduced to accommodate refugee students after-hours, when the regular students have left. Asaker said: "Even now 53 per cent of the population of Syria is that of refugee children. So far our efforts have raised 130 million US dollars and we are aiming that this campaign will be a sustainable one, where the children can avail long-term benefits.”
According to a recent survey by the United Nations, every hour another Syrian baby is born a refugee, adding to over 1.2 million children who are already in desperate need of education.
"UNHCR is proud to have Sheikha Jawaher as an advocate to this cause. Because more and more people need to be made aware of the situation in Syria and raise funds for them,” said Asaker.
The campaign's event at The Dubai Mall saw crowds of well-wishers and donors showing their solidarity with Syrian children.
Parents were teaching their children to become young humanitarians by bringing them to The Dubai Mall to enjoy fun-filled charity activities like face painting and badge making. Adult activities include a ‘Wall of Big Hearts' where visitors leave emotional messages of peace and hope.
The campaign roped in popular musician and humanitarian Hussein Al Jassmi to perform and raise funds for the cause. Al Jassmi said: "As a musician I see this event like one beautiful chorus, where everyone comes together as one and works in perfect harmony. We are creating an amazing melody of humanitarianism.
This is not just about educating Syrian children, but also educating our own children to help their suffering brothers and sisters.”
The double tragedy for Syria is that on one hand there is massive ‘brain drain' as the country's most educated professionals like doctors flee to seek jobs in other countries and on the other hand Syria's brightest students have been uprooted from school, leaving a gaping hole for skilled professionals and graduates. The fundraising event at Dubai Mall will continue until February 20, and members of the public are invited to bring their families for a fun outing that benefits a good cause.
Source: Khaleej Times