Ruler of Sharjah honors Jordan’s 7 hills for social development – News

The organization won the SIARA award worth Dh500,000 for its role in meeting the needs of refugees



Published: Mon Jun 27 2022, 10:19 PM

Jordan’s 7Hills, winner of the 6th edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support (SIARA), was honored by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, at the House of Wisdom .

The event was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Spouse of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and UNHCR’s Leading Advocate for Refugee Children, Ayman Gharaibeh, Regional Director for the MENA region at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Mohammed Zakaria, founder of 7Hills for Social Development.

Creative empowerment programs

The 2022 edition of the Sharjah International Award for Advocacy and Support to Refugees (SIARA) has been awarded to 7Hills for Social Development of Jordan in recognition of its pioneering role in facilitating the integration of young refugees and the satisfaction emotional and psychological needs of refugees and displaced persons. , which are just as important as their food, health and housing needs.

7Hills has successfully implemented several creative projects and informal edutainment programs to enrich beneficiaries, including various age groups of children, young people and parents. Additionally, through its innovative strategy of transforming unused public spaces into safe places to create, 7 Hills offers young people a window to develop and hone their creative abilities.

Valued at Dh500,000, the SIARA prize is a special contribution from TBHF and does not represent any part of the individual and organizational donations made to the foundation.

Humanitarian organization that transcends traditional charity

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: “Today we pay tribute to a creative humanitarian organization that transcends the boundaries of a traditional charitable approach in its efforts to touch the souls and consciences of refugees and people less fortunate and, in doing so, supports the desire of communities to promote their integration and drive social change. Honoring 7Hills is a testament to SIARA’s mandate which draws on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the directives of His Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, president. and royal patron of TBHF.

“A creative, community-based approach is key to improving the lives of refugees, and by honoring humanitarian organizations that adopt non-traditional strategies, TBHF aims to help them meet the financial, emotional and intellectual needs of refugees. Neglecting their emotional needs will lead refugees to isolation and ignore their basic desire to engage and connect with host communities. To love their life, refugees must be able to live a life they love so that they can bestow it with the most beautiful and creative things,” she added.

“This is precisely what 7Hills achieved when it was created by a group of young people. The non-profit organization understood that food, education, health and shelter are only one aspect of the refugees’ needs and therefore decided to prioritize and meet their creative and psychological needs to improve their mental and emotional abilities. One of the main creative initiatives of 7Hills is the transformation of an unused public place into a social space for engagement, learning and integration, which has helped bring young refugees from different countries together and build their confidence. in itself, their creativity and their hope,” she noted.

Regional and international platform

Ayman Gharaibeh, Regional Director of UNHCR’s MENA Office, highlighted that SIARA is a regional and international platform that highlights the exceptional humanitarian efforts undertaken by organizations around the world. It also provides a unique opportunity to shine a light on the lives of refugees and displaced people – their plight, the challenges they face, and their determination and hope for a better future.

He said: “Our partnership with His Highness and TBHF has passed the 10-year mark, during which the contributions of His Highness and the Foundation have played an effective role in alleviating the plight of refugees and displaced people in many many regions.

He continued: “The world is witnessing an unprecedented increase in the number of people forced to flee their homes, which exceeded 100 million in May 2022. This is an important indicator of the worsening human tragedy. over the years. We are saddened when we remember that UNHCR was established in 1951 with a 3-year mandate – when the world thought the problems of displacement would soon end. However, the UNHCR still exists today and spares no effort to help refugees and displaced people. According to 2021 statistics, the MENA region hosts nearly 17 million refugees, representing 17% of the global figures. »

Ayman Gharaibeh added, “In light of the unprecedented increase in numbers, we must unite our efforts and devise durable solutions to ensure a decent life in a safe environment for refugees. Today we come together to honor 7Hills for their role in integrating refugees and empowering them through the creative arts. 7Hills’ efforts are not limited to developing the skills of children and young people in Jordan but also contribute to promoting the values ​​of harmony and coexistence between refugees and the host community. It is a unique way to break down the cultural, racial and societal barriers that prevent people from living in peace and harmony.

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Joel C. Hicks