TBHF announces the launch of 3rd SIARA

SHARJAH, 2nd April, 2019 (WAM) — The Big Heart Foundation,TBHF, a Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has announced the launch of the third edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support,SIARA, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,UNHCR.

The winner of the AED 500,000 (US$136,000) will be awarded at a special honouring ceremony in Sharjah, in May 2019. The award, launched in 2017 to recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes of humanity, has the patronage and support of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children.

The award is dedicated to individuals and organisations who lead pioneering projects designed to alleviate the sufferings of refugees, and IDPs in host nations encompassing the Asian and MENA regions. Also under the award’s purview are humanitarian efforts launched in communities affected by natural disasters, armed conflicts and poverty worldwide.


For the past two years, SIARA has been annually honouring an individual or organisation, who has implemented a food, health, or education-related initiative to create a tangible impact in responding to these immediate social needs of displaced families, and bettering their lives.

A joint TBHF-UNHCR committee will examine applications describing initiatives/programmes implemented in countries representing the Asian and MENA regions. Along with the premise of making positive impact, the entries are also evaluated according to the ‘sustainable benefits’ experienced by target groups. As such, the judging committee will look into the extent to which submitted projects show effective management of financial and human resources to maximize the benefits of the project, implemented governance, transparency and responsibility practices, and effectively communicated with the audience during the implementation phases.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: “In light of the on-going humanitarian crisis and the pressing need to tackle the challenges that this entails, the Sharjah International Refugee Advocacy and Support Award seeks to mobilise stronger and more concerted efforts to help the weak and defenseless build their talents and realise their full potential to become active contributors to our goal of establishing security and sustained development.”

Hammadi added: “Through SIARA, we have tried to exercise the award’s influence in a way that helps the global community adopt a new approach to humanitarian action. The award has been highlighting humanitarian efforts that are born from the understanding that refugees are human assets, not a socioeconomic burden. Our past winners have all championed the ‘sustainable development’ approach within humanitarian-action based projects. Going forward, TBHF will be keen on deepening this understanding by further promoting its practice through the projects we fund and implement, as well as the SIARA winners we pick.”

According to the UNHCR’s latest Global Trends Report, more than 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide due to armed conflicts. In response to the massive influx of refugees, many international organisations and institutions are making great efforts to secure their basic living requirements.

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