Inspiring efforts by Sharjah to help refugees - GulfToday

Inspiring efforts by Sharjah to help refugees

Rohingya Refugees

Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

There are least 79.5 million people around the world forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18, as per UN statistics.

There are also millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and lack access to basic rights such as education, health care, employment and freedom of movement.

Refugees need all help from the international community.

Sharjah deserves a special salute for its unwavering commitment to helping refugees globally.

His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has stressed that the Emirate of Sharjah will continue its support to refugees and needy in any place around the world, whether directly or through its international partners.

His words came during a virtual event held to honour the winner of the fourth annual edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support, SIARA 2020.

Tumaini Letu, a non-profit organisation based at the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, Africa, and founded by refugee poet and artist Trésor Nzengu Mpauni, well deserves the Dhs500,000 award at the 4th edition of SIARA.

The organisation’s flagship programme, the annual Tumaini Festival, is an art and culture event that has attracted 99,000 attendees and united 304 groups of artists from 18 different countries over the past six years while also generating around $150,000 per year.

At the virtual address broadcast live on The Big Heart Foundation’s social media platforms, Sheikh Sultan made it clear, “Even as wars and violence continue to displace more people every day, our duty is to decrease the impact of wars through actions that benefit innocent victims.”

The Ruler said initiatives such as SIARA help in minimising the effects of wars, especially feelings of injustice, persecution and hatred.

TBHF has been doing a great job improving the lives of millions of displaced persons worldwide.

The noble efforts of Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children has been leaving a sustainable impact wherever she visits, and planting the seeds of hope, awareness and love.

Dr Sheikh Sultan has correctly described Sharjah as the emirate that chose to stand by the victims of conflicts, wars, disasters, poverty, and the weak whose rights are violated.

Established in 2017, the SIARA honours humanitarian outfits across Asia, the Middle East and Africa and draws global attention to their outstanding efforts and initiatives in improving lives of refugee communities.

In 2019, SIARA recognised the ongoing efforts of Lebanon’s Amel Association International, a pioneering NGO in the Arab world, in implementing humanitarian initiatives and support programmes that have seen more than 1,600,000 interventions in health, education, empowerment, psycho-social support, protection, and livelihood training within the last six years for thousands of people, including Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

As reflected in the emotional words of Trésor Nzengu Mpauni, “I am receiving this award at a time when humanity and solidarity are needed more than ever before; a time when we are all shaken by a pandemic and still uncertain of what the future will look like.”

“At this very moment, 1 per cent of the global population is forcibly displaced due to war and persecution, living in dangerous conditions, and exposed to a possible death. I am accepting this award on their behalf because I am one of them,” said Nzengu, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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