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07 December 2023

'Sharjah Award for Refugee Advocacy' expands across Asia and Africa

Photo: WAM


The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, a Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has started receiving nominations for the fourth edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support, SIARA.

The award is organised in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, noted that the scope of the award had been expanded from Asia, Middle East and North Africa to include organisations that operate across the whole African continent, as it hosts more than 26 percent of the world’s refugees.

The AED500,000 (US$136,000) award money is a special contribution by TBHF – does not represent any share of the donations made to the foundation – and is under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children.

Al Hammadi also explained that the objective behind the award’s expansion is to take Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi’s vision to turn global attention to the outstanding efforts and initiatives launched by non-profit organisations across Africa, who have taken it upon themselves to improve the lives of millions who are displaced and seeking refuge in the continent.

According to UNHCR, 70.8 million people from all over the world have been forced to flee their homes, of whom some 41.3 million are internally displaced. More than half of them are under 18 years of age.

For the first time since the award was launched, TBHF will be receiving applications directly on its website,
https://tbhf.ae, until 17th December. To enable maximum representation for organisations in MENA, Asia and Africa working in the humanitarian sector, TBHF has also opened its doors to organisations and individuals around the world who want to nominate any non-profits working to support and empower refugees in these regions.

"The award reflects the unwavering commitment of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah and H.H. Sheikha Jawaher, to end the suffering of refugees, and inspire individuals and organisations to contribute in improving the lives of those who have been so cruelly affected. Ultimately, through this award, we want to help refugees in different countries of the world, integrate them back into their communities and help organisations working tirelessly to offer them decent living conditions, especially to women and children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups," added Hammadi.

Since 2017, TBHF has been organising the award annually to recognise the unparallel efforts of local humanitarian outfits who have gone beyond the provision of emergency relief to have a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of numerous families and children.