SHARJAH, (Pakistan Point News - 01st Nov, 2021) The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a Sharjah-based global humanitarian organisation dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has enhanced the self-reliance of 1,300 villagers in Niamey, Niger, with the completion of an AED2 million sustainable village project.
Named after the late Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, and constructed in partnership with Sharjah Charity International, the sustainable village was envisioned to offer long-term development solutions for the vulnerable populations in Niamey. According to UNICEF reports, 63 percent of Niger’s population live below the poverty line.
The village features 20 houses that unemployed families and widowed mothers will occupy.
TBHF’s humanitarian intervention strategy planned for Niamey came as a response to the continuing unrest in Niger where protests and associated clashes, particularly in Niamey, has forced 7,000 civilians, including 1,000 refugees, to flee their homes in search of safety, according to the United Nations.
The Foundation’s sustainable village project has been completed against the backdrop of Niger’s worst-ever monsoon. Torrential rainfall since June 2021 has led to the collapse of more than 12,000 houses, the flooding of nearly 6,000 hectares of cultivable land, and the death of over 10,000 livestock. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless and vulnerable due to the loss of livelihoods.
TBHF has also provided families with 353 goats to be reared primarily for their milk, meat and hide. The village will also enjoy uninterrupted access to clean water and power and drinking water through a distribution system connected to a huge water tank.
A school with six classrooms and a bakery is another highlight of the sustainable village. It provides learning opportunities for children and employment opportunities for teachers. The AED2 million project also includes a fully equipped medical clinic and laboratory.
Announcing the completion of the project, Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said, "With the Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi Sustainable Village, we have furthered the vision of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at UNHCR, which has always focused on bringing long-term, sustainable solutions to affected and needy communities worldwide."
Abdullah Sultan bin Khadim, Executive Director of the Sharjah Charity International, stressed that charitable work plays a key role in empowering the less fortunate and making them self-reliant. This vision and belief of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, reflects in the goals of the sustainable village to offer a decent life to its 1,300 beneficiaries, he said.
"The village, built in memory of the late Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, in cooperation with TBHF, reiterates the key role of collaborative efforts in broadening the horizons of social development work globally through innovation and the focus on creating lasting impact," he added.