Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has reiterated that the TBHF’s humanitarian work finds inspiration and purpose in the basic right of every human being to life and liberty, access to food, healthcare and education, to social stability, the right to employment and to belong to a community and to the world without being excluded or marginalised.
This message was screened during a special ceremony by TBHF on Sunday at the Al Saif Palace, which was organised to honour and recognise the longstanding support extended by the Foundation’s partners, which have enabled the success of TBHF’s humanitarian projects dedicated to helping refugees and less fortunate people worldwide.
The ceremony was attended by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Media Council (SMC) and Humanitarian Envoy of TBHF, Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, Her Excellency Noura Al Noman, Chairperson of the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi and Board of Trustees’ Member of Rubu’ Qarn Foundation, Erum Mazhar Alvie, Senior Advisor at Sheikha Jawaher’s Executive Office and a host of officials, business men and local media representatives.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said: “To make human rights a reality and revive hope in the hearts of thousands around the world, we need charitable people dedicated to spreading goodness and joy in society. We need people who believe in the power of generosity and uphold peaceful coexistence as a daily, natural practice. If these two virtues are not turned into determined action, global crises will be unsolvable.”
“Thank you everyone for supporting The Big Heart Foundation, for making a real positive change in the lives of more than one million people living in conflict and crisis-laden parts of the world. Humanity triumphs when you selflessly support fellow brothers and sisters in need – wherever they are – without discrimination. You have proved that charitability can be a sustainable practice and real happiness can be attained by sharing what the Almighty has given us, with others,” Her Highness added.
People’s generosity at the heart of TBHF’s success
In her speech during the conference, Mariam Al Hammadi pointed out that this ceremony aims to emphasise that the success of TBHF’s projects have been enabled by the cumulative efforts and kind hearts of all those who believe equally in its mission and vision, and are committed to supporting the Foundation’s humanitarian duty towards people in need, refugees, and conflict-affected communities.
Al Hammadi added: “The most important aspect of charity work is the rallying of communities to support and embrace others selflessly. It can remarkably change the individual behaviours. Charitable activities will never succeed without individuals and institutions coming together to champion the common human spirit. We, in Sharjah have been taught by our leaders that we are part of big humanitarian family, and if anyone is hurt or in need in any corner of the world, we have to help them and offer assistance.”
“The Big Heart Foundation was launched on the above principles through its first initiative “Salam ya Seghar” (meaning: Peace for children) that targeted Palestinian children under siege,” she concluded.
Al Hammadi noted that TBHF is one of the few foundations around the world that uses 100 percent of the funds it raises for its aid and rehabilitation projects. None of it goes into TBHF’s operational or other costs. It funds all its project expenditures, be it local or around the world as its believes that the value of philanthropic work comes from being based on altruism. Contributions are not only for temporary causes, but projects, which have a long-term positive impact.
She said that every day, a child, a girl, a woman or a helpless refugee benefits from the donations of TBHF’s partners in education and health. In 2018, TBHF raised AED 58 million that benefitted more than 1 million refugees and those living in poverty worldwide. She pointed out that the Foundation supports children, refugees, women and young women, and aims at setting an example of projects that are designed to facilitate complete integration of the less fortunate segments into the global socioeconomic fabric.
Al Hammadi added: “That is the reason we built a hospital in Bangladesh, a ready-made garments factory in Egypt, a school for girls in Pakistan, and another one in Palestine to support children with special needs, a TBHF clinic in Jordan, and several more. All these projects play an instrumental role in promoting sustainable development in countries in need, creating jobs, increasing productivity, and upgrading infrastructure.”
On behalf of everyone at The Big Heart Foundation, Al Hammadi thanked all the partners and supporters for stepping up the Foundation’s efforts in every project it designs and executes to help a refugee, or nurse an injured to health, or educate a child. She underlined that TBHF and its partners are all stand united for a common cause: A sustainable and bright future for all humanity.
Giving is a core value of Sharjah
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of SMC and Humanitarian Envoy of TBHF, underscored that “the true value of humanitarian work is not just about providing relief, but transforming our way of thinking, building a culture of compassion and looking out for our brothers and sisters all around the world. This culture will limit conflicts, save youth from extremism and focus their energy on doing good deeds for those who need help and assistance.”
He highlighted the unwavering support of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF, in every humanitarian initiative or event. He emphasised that giving is a core value of Sharjah, and through their ongoing commitment to humanitarian causes, the emirate of Sharjah has become a beacon of hope, an incubator for noble humanitarian initiatives and a nurturing environment for good virtues and values.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi pointed out: “It is vital for every segment of the community to participate in humanitarian quests: from students, families, universities, academia, cultural institutions to public and private sectors – we need to work collectively to help others. This will also in turn enable them to cultivate a feeling of belongingness to a global family.”
Addressing TBHF’s partners, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi added: “Our gathering today is a true reflection of the partnership aimed at supporting international humanitarian efforts. Your contributions are an inspiring example to every individual in the UAE and a clear indication of our heritage, that prompts us to help the needy, wherever they are, regardless of their nationality or creed.”
The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a Sharjah-based philanthropic foundation, was officially established in May 2015 by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Foundation’s mandate is to protect and empower refugees and vulnerable children and their families, focusing primarily on the Arab world, but extending support to areas in most need.