SHARJAH, 13th February, 2022 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has stressed that well-informed individuals equipped with knowledge and sciences are the strong foundation that advances communities.
Sheikha Jawaher said that Sharjah has reinforced its humanitarian role by embracing all those who have lost the opportunity to learn for reasons beyond their control, by providing educational centres with specialised curricula aimed at honing skill sets and capacities to enable them to become key players in their communities.
Her remarks came during a recent visit to “The Big Heart Educational Centre”, founded in 2019 to provide access to knowledge and professional empowerment for children and adults who had to leave school and flee their home countries because of conflicts and crises.
She toured the various departments, classes, vocational training centres and other capacity-building facilities at the centre and was briefed on its work.
She said, “The launch of ‘The Big Heart Educational Centre’ reflects the noble values embedded in the culture of the UAE to support those in need, especially to provide them with access to sound education which is a key driver of community development, advancement and stability. This is what we learnt from Sharjah, and this is how we utilise it to serve those in need, at the local or international levels.”
Addressing the students, Sheikha Jawaher continued, “TBHF launched this centre to help you make up for disruptions you have experienced in your education in your home countries. We believe that it is never too late to learn and that education can help lessen the gap and compensate, in part, for what was lost. We will help you fulfil your dreams because Sharjah is a beacon of humanity, knowledge, and culture and because the emirate’s developmental project is founded on the values of respect for human dignity and rights, from wherever they may be.”
She thanked the staff of the centre for their efforts and dedication in helping the students. She thanked the students for their commitment and determination to continue their education and advance their capabilities.
Sheikha Jawaher highlighted the detrimental impact of the lack of educational incubators on individuals, families, and society, and affirmed the need for greater collaboration and support between various societal and institutional entities as part of their corporate and national social responsibilities. She also lauded Al Tunaiji Real Estate for donating the plot for building the centre.
She added that not many countries with a similar wealth of resources had succeeded in equitably serving their people, attributing it to the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who said: “Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power we value. This is what has convinced us to direct all our resources to build the individual, and to use the wealth in the service of the nation.”
She emphasised the importance of teaching the Arabic language to children properly as learning the mother tongue is an integral part of the Arabic identity. At the conclusion of the visit, Sheikha Jawaher directed TBHF to place additional focus on music and sports at the centre.
The centre was launched in partnership with UAE-based Rawafed Development and Learning Centre. It is situated on a 6,000 square metres plot in the Al Yarmouk areas and is equipped with tools, equipment, and a qualified cadre.
It targets beneficiaries in two categories in the 10 to 26 age group. The first one comprises children and adults who had to leave school early and flee their conflict-ridden home countries with their families in search of peace. They benefit from remedial courses and learning assistance at the centre, whose curriculum is designed to get admission in UAE schools.
The second category targets 18+ individuals who either completed high school but did not have the financial resources to go to college or do not have a school education and require training to enter the job market.