Big Heart Foundation launches educational project to help children of Gaza

After-school centres will benefit 1,568 children and 1253 mothers
For immediate release
Sharjah, November 2015

The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) announced the implementation of a one-year educational project for children in war torn Palestine. Established by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, TBHF is dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide.

The education project aims to enhance education and psychological wellbeing of marginalised children in the Gaza Strip’s cities, the Governorates of Rafah and Khan Younis, which are considered among the world’s most affected areas due to successive crises. The project also aims to emphasise that education is a fundamental right of every child, to ensure they can live a good life and have a better future.

The project is implemented in collaboration with Mercy Corps, an international non-profit organization involved in relief and international development, and will include four after-school centres in Rafah, and three others in Khan Younis. A total of 1,568 children, and 1,253 mothers, are expected to benefit directly from the joint tutoring session, which will focus on improving children’s levels in Maths, Arabic and English. While more than 6,265 children will benefit indirectly from the project, costing $810,000.00.

The two organisations are currently equipping classrooms with all the necessary educational materials, including books, stationery, school bags and others essentials, and are recruiting administrative and teaching staff, in order to begin the programme as soon as possible.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of “Salam Ya Seghar”, a programme under The Big Heart Foundation, said, “We strive through the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, to support and advocate for needy children throughout the world, and provide all the necessary means to secure their future. This is besides our involvement in providing urgent relief and aid during times of crisis and disaster.”

She added: “This educational project in Gaza has come about due to the belief of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qassimi that investment in children’s education is the best investment for the children themselves and their nations. We aim to contribute to making the future for children of Gaza a little better. They currently suffer so much as a result of the ongoing Israeli occupation and aggression.”

The launch of the project follows the recent development of The Big Heart Foundation after it was transformed from a regional campaign into a global humanitarian foundation, and after it moved from providing essential relief aid to providing education and outreach to needy children worldwide, especially Palestinian children.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qassimi launched the Big Heart Foundation in June 2015, after Her Highness issued a resolution transforming the Big Heart Campaign into a global humanitarian foundation with an aim to double efforts and help refugees and needy people in various parts of the world. This has added greatly to the UAE’s and Sharjah’s record of humanitarian initiatives, thus consolidating its reputation regionally and globally.

Mercy Corps is a non-profit agency that works in the field of international relief and development. It provides assistance to more than 19 million people in 36 countries around the world. Mercy Corps has been active in the West Bank and Gaza since the 1980s to help Palestinians get their essential needs and find permanent solutions to their chronic problems. The organisation, through its offices in East Jerusalem, Ram Allah and Gaza Strip, is carrying out several projects that cover all the Palestinian territories.