1.1 million Syrian children are UN-registered refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Over half are not in school and one in ten are working to make ends meet.
As a UNHCR employee in Abu Dhabi and mother of a four-year-old boy, when Egyptian-Canadian Ayat Al-Dewary heard these figures she felt compelled to act, and decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity this February.
“I was seven during the first Gulf war. My family and I had to flee from Kuwait to Iraq and then to Jordan by car until we finally managed to fly from Jordan back to Egypt.
I know what it is like to fear for one’s life at a young age. I know what it is like to have a gun pointed at my head from a distance. I, however, was fortunate, and had a country and a home to go back to. These Syrian refugee children do not.
When I heard about the climb, I jumped at the idea but didn’t want to do it just because I enjoy challenges. If I’m going to go all the way to Kilimanjaro, I will take the voices of Syrian refugee children with me to raise awareness of their plight and raise funds for the Big Heart Campaign. Launched by HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, this campaign has raised more than 50 million dirhams to support Syrian refugees and internally displaced Syrians.”
For more info – Ayat El Dewary page