NRS International charity’s ‘Fly For Peace’ campaign lands front-page headline on The National

26 Mar 2017


Fly For Peace, a first-of-its-kind campaign in the Middle East hosted by NRS International’s charity Bilqees Sarwar Foundation, has earned a front-page headline in the March 25 issue of The National, the Abu Dhabi-based English language newspaper. The news report amplified our message on the importance of education in emergencies, particularly for Syrian refugee children and orphans.

Fly For Peace NRS International on The National headlines

The Fly For Peace kite and photo exhibition took place from 21 to 23 March during the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD) at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The three-day exhibition featured  the Syrian refugee children’s artworks that reflect their hopes for a peaceful future. The event goes in line with DIHAD’s 14th edition theme of ‘The Impact of Crisis and Disasters on Children.’

Children’s dreams for the future

Seventy-five Syrian children between the ages of eight and 12 at Ufuk orphanage in Gaziantep, Turkey, took part in the Fly For Peace campaign, drawing pictures of their hopes for a peaceful future onto kites and then flying them.

NRS International's charity Bilqees Sarwar Foundation and DIHAD launch Fly For Peace campaignAccording to the news report, Nour S, a volunteer at Ufuk, which houses more than 150 Syrian refugee children, said that youngsters were really excited to take part in an art performance.

“What was interesting is seeing them go out and fly the kites, because it was their first time,” she was quoted as saying. “After the field trip and when we went back home, they were out on the street refusing to stop flying their kites.”

Nour said most of the children at the orphanage were living with their mothers and had lost their fathers, the breadwinners.

“They all have access to education and we even offer the mothers, most of whom are illiterate, an opportunity to learn,” she said.

Salma, one of the children at the orphanage, said her dream was to return to Syria, where she wants to be a doctor. Farah wanted to study astronomy at Aleppo University to discover planets.

Some children, like Kareem and Fatima, wanted to be teachers and to spread the message of peace. Others, like Nour Ullah, wanted to rebuild their country.

“I want to become an architect, return to Syria, and help rebuild the country,” Nour ­Ullah said.

To listen to more of the children’s dreams for a peaceful future, watch this video:

Call for companies to invest in humanitarian initiatives

Fly For Peace, a first-of-its-kind campaign in the Middle East hosted by NRS International's charity Bilqees Sarwar Foundation, has been featured on the March 25 issue of The National, the Abu Dhabi-based English language newspaper. The news report amplified our message on the importance of education in emergencies, particularly for Syrian refugee children and orphans.“The theme of Dihad this year is the effect of disasters on children,” Oliver Freeman, corporate social responsibility executive at NRS International, was quoted by the newspaper.

“The private sector needs to step up.

“We feel an often ignored aspect of emergencies is education in those circumstances.

“In fact, more than half of the children in UNHCR’s care, some 3.7 million refugee children, have no access to ­primary education. We wanted to use the theme of education to ­respond to the UAE’s call for private sector companies to do more in alleviating the refugee crisis.”

Mr Freeman said that art could play a big role in education in emergencies, and studies showed that it had a therapeutic value.

Nicole Malick, head of ­corporate social responsibility at NRS International, said all companies in the UAE should invest in humanitarian ­initiatives.

“We advise companies to look into the United Nations Global Compact, which is still fairly new in UAE,” she said.

“Creating new partnerships, and not just looking at one-off philanthropic donations, could be a start to getting involved.”

 

This story originally appeared here.

See related story here.

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