The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and Knowledge Without Borders have launched a new campaign in aid of Syrian refugee children, which will see children in the Emirati-Jordanian Camp receive packages containing gifts and toys.
Set to run during the next Eid Al Adha under the title ‘Gift from the Heart’, the campaign forms part of the ‘Read to Syria’s Children’ Initiative launched by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Patron and Head of the Organising Committee of Knowledge Without Borders (KWB).
UAE citizens and residents are being urged to take part in the campaign and make a difference in refugee children’s lives by purchasing a gift that has been selected by refugee children from Hamley’s Toys stores at Dubai Mall and City Centre Mirdif. The toys were selected by the children in the Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp during a visit by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi to the camp two months ago. A delegation from the UAEBBY and Knowledge Without Borders will distribute the gifts to the children during their forthcoming visit to the camp in Eid Al Adha next October.
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi inaugurated the initiative by opening a children’s library and organising the first series of workshops on reading therapy for teachers and parents, as well as a number of reading sessions and entertaining and cultural activities. The focus was placed on books as a cornerstone of activities, as Sheikha Bodour strongly believe that reading helps children to see different beautiful things, think differently, and will open minds towards a better future after the crisis is over.
People wishing to contribute to the campaign may visit Hamley’s Stores from 1st to 31st of August 2014 and select the gift they wish to donate to Emirati- Jordanian Children Camp. The list of gifts includes 14 items, ranging in price from Dhs15 to Dhs219. The gifts are watches, handbags, colour tubes and pens, and building and interactive toys, among many more. The deliberate difference in prices of gifts will make donation possible for people from different income groups who wish to bring joy to the hearts of the refugee children.
Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) Executive Board, said, “The new campaign is part of the “Read to Syria’s Children” initiative and is being launched under the directives of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, in line with Sharjah’s commitment to continue efforts to bring joy to the faces of Syrian refugee children in the Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp. We visited the camp last June and distributed lists of proposed gifts and toys to the camp’s children to select. We promised to bring their favourite gifts in our forthcoming visit next Al Adha Eid. We hope these gifts will help bring happiness to children who have seen terrible hardship in these recent years. We wish to make their lives better through these simple items which will make a real positive difference to them.”
Al Aqroubi added, “We will be pleased to see community involvement in our campaigns to boost social solidarity and show support for the refugee children. Therefore, we are enabling citizens and residents wishing to contribute to select the gift or toy they like to donate to one of the refugee children in the camp, from a list of items available at Hamleys stores. After collecting the targeted number of gifts, we will deliver them to the camp next October in collaboration with UAE Red Crescent. We hope our initiative will see cooperation and response from all.”
Rashid Mohammed Al Kous, General Manager of Knowledge Without Borders (KWB), said, “The new campaign launched by ‘Read to Syria’s Children’ is consistent with the objectives of the initiative, which aims to alleviate the suffering of Syrian children in the Emirati-Jordanian Refugee Camp and help them withstand and overcome hardship. He added that the toys and gifts that will be given to children on Eid Al Adha will help them practice their hobbies and enjoy time spent with friends away from the painful memories and trouble they experienced.”
People wishing to contribute may post their photos with the gifts they donate to the Syrian children via the hash tag #read_for_Syria_children #Hamleys or at various social networking sites.
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi’s visit to the Emirati-Jordanian camp and launch of ‘Read to Syria’s Children’ were in support of the Big Heart Campaign for Syrian Refugees launched by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children to support Syrian refugee children. The campaign aims at supporting Syrian refugee children affected by the crisis in Syria, easing their suffering and giving them and their families hopes of a better future. The visit received a wide international recognition, particularly from international organisations concerned with children, refugees, and reading promotion.