The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has launched a Zakat donation campaign, ‘Create a Sustainable Impact with Your Zakat’, to help alleviate the suffering of millions of Syrian children, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Palestinians in Gaza.
The Zakat donations will be utilised to fund projects targeting the livelihood and education sector in the respective countries.
In 2018, 1,106 children were killed in Syria, the highest death toll of children as the civil war enters its ninth year now. In addition to the loss of life, the physical devastation in Syria is immense, with schools, hospitals and water treatment facilities destroyed. UNICEF estimates that 40 percent of school infrastructure in Syria has been damaged or destroyed in the war, leading to over 2 million children – over one-third of Syria’s child population – being out of school. A further 1.3 million children in Syria are currently at risk of dropping out.
The funds from the Zakat donations received by TBHF during the holy month of Ramadan will be focused on building and rehabilitating schools in Syria, apart from building community centres to support education and protection intervention in host countries like Jordan and Lebanon.
Similarly, over 1 million Rohingya refugees now reside in Cox Bazar district, Bangladesh. They live in congested sites that are ill-equipped to handle the early rains, monsoon and cyclone seasons. Over 500,000 children in the host districts need education assistance. In this case the funds received will go towards building learning centres to provide quality education to Rohingya children and a community centre to support vocational training and psychosocial interventions.
Likewise, Palestinians in Gaza face a socioeconomic crisis which is a direct consequence of the restricted movement of people and goods due to the blockade and restricted entry at the Rafah border crossing as well as the decade-old political divide. The magnitude of the challenges facing Gaza continued to grow in 2018, with funding cuts leading to crises in healthcare, energy, food and water access, sanitation, and education.
The funds from the Zakat donations in this case will focus on building a community mental health centre to support Palestinian children, youth and women.
Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of The Big Heart Foundation, said: “The Syrian, Palestinian and Rohingya refugees are living in extremely difficult circumstances and we have to stand by them and try our best to alleviate their suffering. Besides being our humanitarian duty, this reflects the Foundation’s vision and goals, and is part of its efforts on the global scale to protect people’s right to live a decent life.”
She added: “The launching of this humanitarian campaign is in line with the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, which exemplifies core human values and encourages us to instil qualities of love and compassion for the needy, refugees and displaced people who live in harsh, oppressive conditions. Millions of children need food and shelter, an opportunity to complete their education to have a better future. Each thought and contribution from our community will go a long way in turning these dreams into reality. I urge UAE to come forward and celebrate their spirit of benevolence by participating in our campaign.”
To contribute to the Zakat campaign, one can make their donation by depositing to TBHF’s: Sharjah Islamic Bank account number: 0011430430020, IBAN: AE040410000011430430020; or on the Zakat link online: https://tbhf.ae/donate/
In June 2015, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi launched The Big Heart Foundation to coincide with World Refugee Day. It followed her decision to transform what was then The Big Heart Campaign into a global humanitarian foundation. The move aimed to redouble efforts to help refugees and people in need worldwide, with the new foundation adding significantly to the UAE’s rich portfolio and long record of humanitarian initiatives, regionally and globally.