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TBHF will support the construction of the Big Heart Secondary School for Girls in Kenya Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) on Tuesday announced the allocation of $1.6 million (around Dh5.88 million) to launch five humanitarian projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Jordan.

Making the announcement at a virtual press conference, TBHF said the projects to enhance education, healthcare and community empowerment would be implemented in collaboration with its partner, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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TBHF will finance the establishment of a training centre for refugee women in Pakistan Image Credit: Supplied

The joint conference saw the participation of Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor and UNHCR Representative to the GCC Countries; Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF; Fathiaa Abdulla, UNHCR Representative to Kenya; and a host of humanitarian affairs experts and journalists.

Khalifa said the generous contribution will translate into a better future for more than 25,000 less fortunate individuals at a time when the world requires exceptional levels of solidarity and support to be extended to the most vulnerable communities.

What are the projects?

In Pakistan, TBHF will finance the establishment of a training centre for refugee women, while also supporting the rehabilitation of four existing training centres serving around 3,000 Afghan refugee women who live in a community of 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees.

Curbing COVID-19

The humanitarian organisation has backed the efforts of Jordan’s Ministry of Health to curb the spread of COVID-19, including the coverage of referral costs of 190 refugees with serious medical conditions such as cardiac ailments and blood disorders. The project will also support in the provision of critical reproductive health services including normal and caesarean delivery, high-risk pregnancy, complicated births, and neonatal care.

Supporting the vulnerable

In Kenya, to improve girls’ access to secondary schooling and enhance their learning outcomes, TBHF will support the construction of the ‘Big Heart Secondary School for Girls’. The boarding school will accommodate about 360 girls residing in the north-western region. The school’s construction is underway with an expected opening in June 2021.

Also, to improve the healthcare services in the camp, TBHF has allocated $266,000 (around 977,000) to cover the operating costs of a health clinic that serves the needs of about 22,000 refugees who are vulnerable to many communicable and non-communicable diseases such as malaria, measles and cholera.

A role model

Khalifa said, “We take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Her Highness Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of TBHF and advocate for refugee children at UNHCR, for all her efforts to support women and children affected by war and conflict. We are proud to call her a role model for Arab women, who continues to inspire us with several humanitarian initiatives in the East and West.”

Al Hammadi said, “TBHF’s assessment of the global humanitarian landscape reflects the vision of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the directives of his wife [Shaikha Jawaher].”

She added: “Social inclusion of refugees involves providing them with equal opportunities and experiences which enable them to develop knowledge, skills, and competencies, to play a full part in all aspects of society.”

The announcement of the new projects follows comprehensive fields to Pakistan and Kenya led by Shaikha Jawaher, and Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, TBHF Humanitarian Envoy, respectively, Al Hammadi said.

When asked about any expected impact of the pandemic on the timeline of the implementation of the projects, Al Hammadi said, as of this moment the projects are on plan. She added that if there are any delays due to the current situation, TBHF will be making an announcement.