On the third anniversary of the loss of Ghalib and Alan Kurdi –The boy on the beach- The International Observatory Of Human Rights (IOHR) brings Tima and Abdullah Kurdi of The Kurdi Foundation to deliver school supplies to Syrian refugee children in Erbil in Northern-Iraq
When: 2 September 2018
Where: Gawilan Camp, Erbil
What: The International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) is travelling to Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan with Tima Kurdi the founder of the Kurdi Foundation to distribute school supplies at Gawilan Camp to coincide with the 3 year anniversary of the loss of her nephews on 2 September, 2015.
Valerie Peay the director of IOHR and Tima Kurdi the aunt of Alan Kurdi will be paying a tribute to her two-year old nephew who was tragically found dead on a Turkish beach in 2015 after fleeing war-torn Syria with his mother, Rehanna and his brother Ghalib who also perished when the boat capsized in the Mediterranean. The photo of Alan went viral and he became the symbol of Syrian refugees fleeing war. His father Abdullah survived the disaster and created The Kurdi Foundation, with his sister Tima, to help Syrian refugee children.
This initiative is the first donation of the Helping Hands Fund set-up by IOHR to help victims of grave human rights violations worldwide. The visit is in partnership and to support the work of the Kurdi Foundation to help Syrian refugee children with educational needs. Alan Kurdi would have been five years old this year and ready to embark on his school career.
Tima is now recognised as a global advocate for Syrian Refugees. Her goal is to remind the world that, as Syria crumbles, there are still many more children facing perilous journeys or long refugee camp internment.
Tima gives a voice for those children still stuck in cramped and dangerous refugee camps. Through the Kurdi Foundation she provides educational support to a lost generation of children, whose lives have been shattered by the ongoing conflict.
In her book, The Boy on the Beach, Tima tells how she has “lashed out far and wide, in every direction. I have cried out to the governments that have denied a safe harbour to so many refugees, or failed to provide a slip of paper that legitimises their right to the most basic necessities”.
Tima flew to London from her hometown in Vancouver- Canada on 15 August to speak at an event organised by IOHR about her experiences with the Syrian crisis. She spoke to a room filled with leading activists, non-governmental organisations and resettled Syrian refugees.
Lending her voice to the #ExtendtheWelcome campaign, Tima called on the UK government to continue the UK Community Sponsorship Scheme and to continue to resettle refugees past the year 2020. Tima also had a private meeting with the Home Office Community Sponsorship team to share her experience, following her success in securing the futures of seven members of her extended family by bringing them to Canada through the country’s own community sponsorship scheme.
The trip to Erbil is IOHR’s first undertaking on the ground and is continuation of our ongoing #BeARefugeeSponsor campaign that calls for the expansion of the Community Sponsorship scheme in the UK. The IOHR research team had produced a paper on the different avenues of sponsoring refugees in the UK and placed the Canadian system as a successful model to follow.
For more information, to arrange interviews, or to join Tima and IOHR on their trip please contact:
Mr Ash Naji, Head of Marketing and Communications, International Observatory Of Human Rights.
Tel: +44 (0) 7826 062 541; Email: [email protected]