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PHILANTHROPY

A NEW DAWN The Amal project is plotting a new adventure that will bring hope to thousands of young refugees

eet Amal, an innocent Syrian refugee with inquisitive eyes and a wry smile. Like most young girls, Amal, has high hopes and soaring dreams for a happy and stable future - but this will be a challenge for her as she is growing up in a refugee camp. A victim of a shockingly brutal war, Amal is just one of the countless number of displaced Syrians forced to flee her country to find a new home. Global Citizen Foundation, in collaboration with GlamOnYou, a Dubai-based fashion house have been deeply involved with the refugee crisis touched and inspired by Amal, meaning ‘hope’ in Arabic. The AMAL Project brings recreational caravans to distressed regions to create an oasis for playing, dreaming, learning, and sharing moments of joy. The project’s mascot, Amal, symbolises a journey of a young refugee girl in a foreign place, without a real home and no safe spaces to grow and learn. Designed by GlamOnYou, the iconic handmade doll with apricot hair wears green ribbons, which are a symbol of childhood depression, missing children and environmental concerns. Each caravan has been customised to offer optimum lighting with bright kitted-out interiors. The exterior is covered with joyful drawings with the participation of the children. Each new playroom offers a pathway to education and is filled with books, stationary and toys. With care at its core, the project has also created jobs for women refugees to maintain the caravans, teach and supervise the children. These caravans are so much more than a safe haven away from 50 degree summers and minus 5 degree winters in Jordan; they are part of an ongoing rehabilitation process to help displaced children deal with the horrific experiences they have already witnessed in their young lives and to encourage them to express

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themselves and, essentially, be children. “Being a mother myself, the Amal project is a cause which is very close to my heart. The children’s stories are absolutely harrowing. There is just nothing there at the camps. It’s a wasteland: no electricity, no shelter, no life. For just two hours each day, water drips from a tap to provide for over 150 children. Even though we have already provided two caravans, some of the children simply couldn’t reach them as the walk is just too far,” says Nadine Arton, Founder of GlamOnYou and The AMAL Project. The Global Citizen Foundation, which focuses on sustainable development and education projects in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, UAE and Jordan, has already donated over $40,000 to the AMAL Project and together they delivered the first set of recreational caravans to the Al Azraq camp in Jordan in 2015, with a further caravan in Zaatari; the largest camp in the country. Inspired by the enormous impact the AMAL project has on children in Jordan so far, the project will expand to helping children all over the world, starting in India in September 2016. “These projects will make a huge difference to bringing a sense of normality back to children’s lives to preserve their precious childhoods. We are extremely delighted to be a part of their future, and look to continue to support further educational initiatives for them, as the most important investment one can make is in education. The next generation will be the leaders of our economies, and by empowering citizens through education, we hope to help to build a more sustainable future for all,” explained Arton. To donate or get involved in the AMAL project, please get in touch through www.global-citizen.org/project/amal-project. Nothing in this world is more pure than the joy in children’s eyes. Help us bring it to them.

Global Citizen 33  

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