Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi,
Chairperson of Sharjah Media Council (SMC), and
Humanitarian Envoy of The Big Heart Foundation
It was during a recent visit to Kakuma refugee camp in the Republic of Kenya that we sat down with a group of hopeful and ambitious refugees. The visit, organised by The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), comprised of a high-level delegation of top Emirati officials, CEOs, and business leaders. This meeting with these young men and women, who were seeking refuge in the camp, was an enlightening and touching one. It was extremely inspiring to look at their glistening eyes as they spoke about their ambitions and faith, despite the adversities that they are battling.
As we listened intently to their dreams and narrations, we could feel that they still saw a silver lining in the dark clouds and ‘hope’ was still alive in their hearts. These young folks were true powerhouses, with endless potential and capabilities that still remained untapped. Their belief in kindness and their faith in generosity led them to believe that there may be differences in languages or cultures, but that humanity still resides in hearts and binds us together. They are hopeful that helping hands will arrive one day and alleviate their sufferings, forever.
Over the years, TBHF, a Sharjah-based global humanitarian organisation, has become a role model in advancing humanitarian work, by organising such field visits enabling public sector officials and business leaders to take a closer look at the precarious existence and the everyday challenges that displaced people across the world brave, every day.
Those who know about the contributions of TBHF and its role in bridging the gap between the refugees and the rest of the world, are well aware of its keenness to stand for the rights of the afflicted and rally support for them. TBHF has been organising such purpose-driven ground visits to facilitate the provision of resources and support, to ease the daily struggles of those in need. This way, TBHF safeguards the rights of the displaced population affected by poverty, forced immigration, or natural disasters, in addition to providing them with basic necessities such as food, security, shelter, healthcare, and education.
I recall how during one such visit in 2017 we met Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. After speaking to them we found out that healthcare was one of the biggest challenges in that area. The visit ultimately led to the construction of a hospital that now supports over 140,000 Rohingya refugees. This hospital was built in cooperation with Doctors without Borders and funded by the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority.
Supporting TBHF’s sustainable humanitarian projects is a duty and not a choice. After all, humanity is a stance and providing for the people in need is the very essence of Emirati culture.