The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has announced the fourth edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy (SIARA).

Nominations for the Dh50,000 award that has been organised in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), have already begun pouring in.

The award is under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Shaikha Jawahar Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director, TBHF, noted that the scope of the award had been expanded from Asia, Middle East and North Africa to include organisations that operate across the whole African continent, as it hosts more than 26 percent of the world’s refugees. She also explained that the objective behind the award’s expansion is Shaikha Jawaher’s vision to turn global attention to the outstanding efforts and initiatives launched by non-profit organisations across Africa, who have taken it upon themselves to improve the lives of millions who are displaced and seeking refuge in the continent.

According to UNHCR, 70.8 million people from all over the world have been forced to flee their homes, of whom some 41.3 million are internally displaced. More than half of them are under 18 years of age. 67 percent of the refugees are from Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Somalia and South Sudan.

Applicants can send their nomination directly on the foundation’s website,, until December 17, 2019.

TBHF’s evaluation of the nominees will centre on whether their work has resulted in tangible benefits for those they offered support to. Their work must use innovative practices within its programmes and initiatives to ensure better results and sustainable impact, be expansive in its scope, and carry a clearly defined element of transparency and objectivity in its service delivery ethos.