SHARJAH, 12th January, 2020 (WAM) -- Sharjah Charity House has donated US$1 million to support The Big Heart Foundation’s, TBHF, humanitarian projects in the Kakuma refugee camp and the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in the Republic of Kenya to provide basic services and develop their infrastructure.
The donation came as a result of a recent visit organised by TBHF, the Sharjah-based global humanitarian organization dedicated to helping people in need worldwide, to the refugee settlements in Kenya’s north western region. Top Emirati officials, CEOs and business leaders were a part of the team that assessed the precarious existence and daily challenges of the camps’ 191,500 residents.
The visit was undertaken in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, which calls for further engagement from the public and private sectors, as well as individuals, to provide support towards implementing sustainable projects to help refugees, displaced persons and those affected by crisis, lead peaceful and stable lives.
The refugees in Kakuma camp comprise 22 nationalities who have fled war and instability in search of food, security and livelihood. Most of the refugees are from South Sudan and Somalia, as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia. The camps lack even basic necessities like drinking water and electricity. The residents live in a harsh environment due to the drought that is affecting Kenya, which has led to a constant outbreak of diseases.
Sultan Al Khayyal, Secretary-General of Sharjah Charity House said, "Sharjah’s vibrant humanitarian culture is a reflection of the humane principles H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has placed at the forefront of our emirate’s developmental journey. These values have been successfully transformed by H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, into global initiatives and programmes supporting the displaced and less fortunate around the world."
For his part, Ali Al Khayal, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sharjah Charity House, said, "During the visit to the camps, our convictions were strengthened that humanitarian action should not come only as a response to a situation – it has to be ongoing and sustainable, and deeply embedded in the culture of societies. I invite every institution, regardless of their involvement in charitable work, to engage with those in need and develop their programmes with humanitarian work as its core."
Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, thanked Sharjah Charity House for its generous contribution to help humanitarian causes. She said, "There is a significant increase in the number of refugees around the world. This is offset by a dearth of services provided to them, including education, healthcare and infrastructure, which adds to the refugees’ woes. The Sharjah Charity House donation comes as a response to the challenges we face, and embodies the role entrusted to institutions to tackle the humanitarian crises arising from ongoing conflicts."
She added that visits organised by TBHF to refugee camps had served to expose their plight, and focused civil and governmental institutions’ attention on their humanitarian needs, noting that the visits had also helped them understand the priorities of the refugees and the people in need and had informed ways to help them through mutual agreement.
"Through the visit, TBHF was able to shine light on the importance of providing healthcare and education to refugees. We consider them, along with security, as basic rights that need to be met and honoured, because they protect generations of people from ignorance and radicalism," Al Hammadi explained.
Since its establishment, TBHF has continued its humanitarian efforts, having delivered emergency aid to more than 20 nations worldwide facing crises, along with supporting long-term and sustainable projects in healthcare, education and other vital sectors.