UAE: Dh500,000 Sharjah refugee advocacy award winner to be announced on June 20

Sharjah - Sheikh Sultan to address awards ceremony virtually.



By Staff Report

Published: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 7:12 PM

The Sharjah Ruler will virtually address the fifth annual edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support (SIARA 2021) on World Refugee Day (June 20).

The Dh500,000 award winner will be announced after the address by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Organised by The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the annual awards ceremony honours humanitarian outfits across Asia, Middle East and Africa.

The 2021 edition of the award has received 213 nominations from 41 countries.

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will also address the virtual audience at the awards ceremony.

Being organised annually since 2017, SIARA is dedicated to individuals and organisations who lead pioneering projects designed to alleviate the sufferings of refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers in host nations encompassing the Asian and MENA regions.

The award also seeks to turn the spotlight on outstanding humanitarian interventions launched in communities affected by natural disasters, armed conflicts and poverty worldwide.

In the past four editions, SIARA has honoured both organisations and individuals for outstanding and dedicated work with and for displaced people.

Past winners

Since the commencement of SIARA in 2017, four organisations have been honoured.

Tumaini Letu, a non-profit organisation based at the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, Africa, and founded by refugee poet and artist Trésor Nzengu Mpauni, was announced as the winner in 2020. The organisation’s flagship programme, the annual Tumaini Festival, is an art and culture event that had attracted 99,000 attendees and united 304 groups of artists from 18 countries, while also generating around $150,000 per year.

In 2019, SIARA recognised the ongoing efforts of Lebanon’s Amel Association International, a pioneering NGO in the Arab world. It has implemented humanitarian initiatives and support programmes that have seen more than 1.6 million interventions in health, education, empowerment, psycho-social support, protection, and livelihood trainings in the last seven years for thousands of people, including Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Dignity for Children Foundation in Malaysia was conferred the award in 2018 in recognition for its role and commitment towards thousands of families in Sentul, Malaysia, by providing a safe environment for their children’s education.

For its humanitarian efforts to save lives and restore dignity in one of the Middle East’s most unstable conflict zones, Sustainable Development Foundation, Yemen, was honoured at the inaugural edition of SIARA in 2017. Working in the worst affected districts, the foundation has provided essentials such as water, food and shelter, and undertaken education.


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