SHARJAH, 2nd July, 2016 (WAM)–Children in Palestine who are unable to experience a healthy family life because of adverse personal circumstances are being provided with loving homes by the Big Heart Foundation (TBHF).

Under the initiative, the Sharjah-based humanitarian initiative is helping to finance ‘SOS Children’s Villages,’ a project in Palestine that has been established to equip parents with the skills to create a stable and nurturing environment for their children. In situations where it is deemed that children can no longer live with their families, the project provides high quality alternative care designed to facilitate their healthy emotional and psychological development.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of ‘Salam Ya Seghar,’ an initiative by TBHF said that the aim of SOS Children’s Villages is to provide homes where a child can be a child and where their feelings of anxiety and distress from their previously disrupted lifestyles are replaced with ones of happiness and wellbeing.

“Children are the most vulnerable members of any community, but youngsters living in Palestine are particularly at risk because of the current conditions experienced in that region. These difficult circumstances put immense pressures on families and sometimes it is the children that suffer as a result of these pressures,” said Mariam Al Hammadi.

“We decided to provide financial aid to SOS Children’s Villages because it has a strong focus on maintaining the strength of the community. Families are the bedrock of a society and sometimes parents and caregivers in the home can benefit from practical help that ensures that they provide an environment for their children to thrive. Where there are cases of children needing to be taken out of their family home in order for them to be safe, the project provides them with a secure and nurturing environment,” she added.

TBHF’s sponsorship of SOS Children’s Villages will directly benefit 424 Palestinian children and youths in Rafah in the Gaza Strip, with 130 kindergarten children, 175 school-age children and 44 youths receiving care in their homes. The project is also providing 10 homes for 75 children who are unable to continue living with their families. TBHF’s sponsorship of the SOS Children’s Villages project will last for 12 months, with the organisation providing 750,000 dollars to finance it from January to December 2016. The amount includes the shortage in funding for various SOS Palestine programmes over the course of one year and for specific planned activities, such as fencing, the creation of a public area and the purchase of furniture for its Girls Youth Programme.

TBHF was launched in June 2015 by H.H. Sheikh Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, to coincide with World Refugee Day. In the year since its inception, the humanitarian foundation has contributed to changing the lives of thousands of refugees worldwide, reaching out to Syrian and Palestinian refugees in neighbouring countries and Rohingya Muslims in Indonesia. It is committed to helping displaced people live a dignified life by providing a package of integrated services and aid that includes healthcare, education and direct financial assistance.

SOS Children’s Villages is an international, non-governmental, social development organisation that provides care, education and health services to children who have lost or who are at risk of losing parental care. SOS Children’s Villages also take action to improve policies and practices that undermine the wellbeing of these children, their families and communities.

SOS Children’s Villages run more than 2,400 programmes that cater to 2.2 million children and adults in 134 countries and territories. This is achieved through cooperation involving communities, authorities and various partners. SOS Children’s Villages’ vision for the world’s children is that every child should belong to a family and grow up with love, respect, and security.

In 2014, SOS Children’s Villages opened a branch office for Gulf partnerships, licensed at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, UAE.