Sharjah honours the culturally driven refugee empowerment initiatives of Malawi’s Tumaini Letu

Non-profit is the recipient of US$ 136,000 as winner of the fourth Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support 2020

SHARJAH, UAE, Aug. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Tumaini Letu, a non-profit organization based at the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, Africa, is the recipient of the fourth edition of Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support (SIARA). The award is given annually by The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a UAE-based global humanitarian organization dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, in collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Photo from Tumaini Letu festival
Photo from Tumaini Letu festival

The prestigious award, which carries a cash prize of $136,000 and a trophy, honours the efforts of Tumaini Letu’s founder, refugee poet and artist Trésor Nzengu Mpauni, for organizing the annual Tumaini Festival, an art and culture event that has attracted 99,000 attendees and united 304 groups of artists from 18 different countries over the past six years while also generating around $150,000 per year. Through its art workshops and cultural festivals, the organization is promoting peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding and intercultural harmony between refugees and the host communities, in addition to creating jobs and lucrative economic opportunities for the vulnerable populations at the Malawi camp.

Receiving the award at a virtually-held ceremony, Nzengu noted: "I am receiving this award at a time when humanity and solidarity are needed more than ever before."

Established in 2017, SIARA was instituted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness, TBHF Chairperson and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, who continue to champion philanthropic efforts by individuals and organizations around the world. 

Thanking the Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife HH Sheikha Jawaher and TBHF for its remarkable efforts in refugee advocacy, Trésor added: "The SIARA award is a motivation for the entire refugee community in Malawi, especially to young people who have big dreams and so much potential. It is a seed of growth that will strengthen our team and inspire us to transform refugee lives and bring benefits to our host country."

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