Big Heart Foundation signs pact to improve 44,986 lives - GulfToday

Big Heart Foundation signs pact to improve 44,986 lives


Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi during the MoU signing between TBHF, Arada and UNHCR.

The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a UAE-based global humanitarian organisation dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arada, a UAE-based property developer, to support shelter and water interventions and improve the lives of up to 44,986 displaced and vulnerable populations in the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in Kenya.

The MoU, signed in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), will fulfil the urgent needs of secure housing and sustainable water supply in light of the rising refugee numbers in Kenya’s Kalobeyei Settlement, and drive action to enable the vulnerable population to rebuild their lives.

The MoU signing ceremony between TBHF, Arada and UNHCR was held in the presence of Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Humanitarian Support Envoy of The Big Heart Foundation, and Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of The Big Heart Foundation. The MoU was signed on Tuesday at Aljada, Sharjah, with Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Arada, and Houssam Chahin, UNHCR Chief of Private Sector Partnerships in the MENA Region.

TBHF will mobilise the funding allocated by Arada and implement the humanitarian project in collaboration with UNHCR in line with its commitment to address protection concerns and ensure long-term developmental solutions to elevate the lives of marginalized people everywhere.

Aiming for a targeted improvement in the socio-economic conditions of both the refugees and host community, the philanthropic project seeks to grow the local economy by developing long-term solutions to meet their most urgent needs. Both refugees and the host community have been encouraged to play an increased role in prioritising needs, assisting in budget decision-making, and monitoring the implementation of projects. By empowering beneficiaries and reducing their dependency on humanitarian assistance, the goal is to improve social cohesion between both communities.

SECURE, SAFE AND CLEAN HOMES: Displaced people living in temporary shelters in the Kalobeyei Settlement in Kenya face a real threat of protection and security concerns, including from theft and severe weather conditions. Established in June 2015, the settlement was launched to relieve overcrowding in the nearby Kakuma refugee camp. TBHF’s housing project will ensure safe and dignified housing for up to 340 households consisting of around 1,775 members, who will also be engaged in the negotiation and construction processes.

ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER: The implementation of a sustainable water supply system aims to avoid interruptions in access to safe and clean water especially as there is a greater influx of vulnerable population to the settlement. The provision of water supply to areas where newly arrived displaced population are being settled will ensure the good health and hygiene of residents in the Kalobeyei integrated settlement.

43,211 members, representing close to 8,275 households, will be the direct beneficiaries of the TBHF’s water infrastructure project who will have adequate access to water supply of at least 20 litres per person per day. This also includes the continuous provision of 100,000 litres of water per week to host community members around the settlement.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: “In communities that face exceptional hardships, long-term, developmental solutions are crucial to meet their urgent challenges and restore a sense of normalcy into their lives. TBHF’s focus on facilitating targeted interventions in areas where it is needed the most, furthers the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of TBHF, and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at UNHCR, in undertaking high impact solutions to affected and needy communities worldwide.”

Al Hammadi added: “Through the collaboration with Arada and UNHCR, vulnerable communities in the Kalobeyei settlement will receive secure and dignified housing and a sustainable supply of clean water to facilitate their inclusive development and foster their reintegration into society.”


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