Our stories

Hear from the Voices that Matter

Big Heart has touched millions of lives. It is the countless human stories which serve as our inspiration, our moral compass.
Impact is often unquantifiable, it is intangible, measured in smiles, hope, dignity, and promise. Here are a few of these inspiring stories.

Identities changed for safety purpose.

Amira is a 48-year old widow and mother of two young children from Al Ghouta, where a protracted siege forced her to flee north to Hama governorate. Amira was displaced six times before settling in Madiq Castle. She had no source of income or livelihood, and after selling her valuables, and her last piece of gold – a gift from her late husband – she went without food, so her children would have enough to eat. Amira’s life was a constant struggle for survival.

After settling in Madiq Castle, she registered as a beneficiary to receive cash vouchers from Big Heart through our UN OCHA-funded food security program in 2018. The cash vouchers enabled her to buy nutritious food for her children, and restored her dignity and hope. Amira previously felt humiliated when forced to ask strangers for help. “I hope for such projects to continue, they are the bedrock for the vulnerable and those who have no one else to turn to in these unfortunate times.”

Identities changed for safety purpose.

Dalia was forced to flee Idleb at age six with her parents and sister. She was displaced numerous times over the next five years before her family left Syria to build a new life in Turkey. There, Dalia was able to go to school – she excelled and became fluent in Turkish – but five years on, when her family returned to Syria, she could no longer read and write Arabic. Again she found herself starting over, significantly behind her peers entering fifth grade. With the help of Big Heart’s Europe Aid-funded project in partnership with People in Need, dedicated social workers and teachers provide girls like Dalia with the tools, motivation, and special attention needed to master all subjects – including Arabic.

Dalia reflected on how the program’s impact: “In this school, I took my first steps toward the future in hopes of getting smarter and more knowledgeable, to carve out a path for the future. This school helped me form new friendships with students who shared their joys, sorrows, laughter, lessons, and duties.”

Identities changed for safety purpose.

Samir is a 55-year old husband and father of four from Idleb who, like so many other Syrians, struggled to find adequate food to feed his family. In 2015, he participated
in Big Heart’s UN Food and Agriculture Organization program in partnership with WeltHungerHilfe. The program supported 800 beneficiaries in Idleb and Hama governorates who had access to at least 0.75 hectares of land, and experience in agriculture or farming. Under Big Heart’s program, Samir received a small farmer’s kit, seeds, fertilizer, and farming tools.

Now Samir grows ample food for his family, and plans to eventually sell some of his surplus crops to generate extra income. Given the shortage of fresh and affordable food in Idleb and Hama governorates, Samir saw significant potential to expand the program, allowing for additional beneficiaries to again become self-sufficient.

Identities changed for safety purpose.

Khalid is a 45-year old husband and father of five from Aleppo, and one of 200 beneficiaries selected to participate in Big Heart’s micro-gardening pilot program funded by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in partnership with WeltHungerHilfe. In 2015, Khalid received a micro-garden agriculture kit, seeds, fertilizer, soil, peat, and gardening tools. Through Big Heart’s program, he was able to grow vegetables and feels relieved to be able to provide for his family.

Khalid reported that many in his community who struggle to find adequate fresh produce were initially skeptical about growing food in an urban setting, but changed their minds after seeing his success. He has a renewed sense of hope because he has been able to set an example, encouraging friends and neighbors to start on a path to self-sufficiency.

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