Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 28 November 2020

Big Heart charity wants to feed the minds of Syrian refugee children

The event in Dubai will feature celebrity appearances to raise funds for the education of Syrian refugee children.
From today, the Big Heart Campaign is to provide education for the children in refugee camps, such as these girls in Zaatari. Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
From today, the Big Heart Campaign is to provide education for the children in refugee camps, such as these girls in Zaatari. Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

DUBAI // The Big Heart Campaign has turned its focus to education, urging people to help “feed the minds” of more than 1.2 million Syrian refugee children.

The charity has launched the “no lost generation, journey of hope” and will be holding a fund-raising drive from Monday at Dubai Mall’s Souq Arena.

The 10-day event will be packed with activities for adults and children, including celebrity appearances.

Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, patron of the campaign and Eminent Advocate at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), said education was the latest priority for the campaign.

“Our ever-supportive donors have helped us to feed and shelter refugees but now it is time to feed their minds through education,” said Sheikha Jawaher, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

“Children are born with a hunger for knowledge and a thirst to satisfy their endless curiosity, so education is just as vital as the air they breathe. Let our big hearts beat as one and let us work together to turn young refugees into future humanitarians.

Valerie Amos, the UN’s chief aid coordinator, said the peace talks between the regime of president Bashar Al Assad and the Syrian opposition had not proved effective or provided any respite for the refugees.

It is thought that about three-quarters of the 2.4 million Syrian refugees registered by the UNHCR are women and children.

“While the discussions continue to try to find a political solution to the crisis, ordinary men, women and children are dying needlessly across the country and others are desperate for food, clean water and medical care,” Ms Amos said.

Gordon Brown, a former British prime minister and UN Special Envoy for Global Education, shares the goal of educating these children and supports the campaign.

“By fighting for the fundamental right to education for the children of Syria, we can establish the principle that even in the most hopeless of situations learning can continue,” said Mr Brown.

The campaign had a highly successful first phase in which it provided life-saving medical treatment for more than 265,000 Syrian refugees and gave more than 400,000 others vital food and cash, with the education drive its third phase.

Donations will be collected through bank transfers to the account name “Salam Ya Seghar”.

The campaign will continue until May 7.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Updated: February 9, 2014 04:00 AM

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