Sharjah Ruler to address humanitarian leaders at SIARA awards

SHARJAH, 14th June, 2021 — On World Refugee Day on Sunday, 20th June, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, will virtually address the fifth annual edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support (SIARA 2021).

This will be followed by the awarding of AED500,000 to the winner of the 2021 edition of the award, which will be announced during the live broadcast of the event on all of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF)’s social media platforms and Sharjah TV.

Organised by 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 annually held awards ceremony honours humanitarian outfits across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Held under the patronage of the Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, SIARA 2021 has received 213 nominations from 41 countries.

The event will be aired online on all TBHF social media platforms via the link

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

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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 which have led to a positive and sustainable impact.

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 at the 4th edition of SIARA 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 different countries – as of August 2020 – while also generating around US$150,000 per year.

In 2019, SIARA recognised the ongoing efforts of Lebanon’s Amel Association International, a pioneering NGO in the Arab world, in implementing humanitarian initiatives and support programmes that have seen more than 1,600,000 interventions in health, education, empowerment, psycho-social support, protection, and livelihood training in the last seven years for thousands of people, including Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Dignity for Children Foundation in Malaysia was conferred with 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.