For Mama Campaign

Hand in Hand for Aid and Development is proud to join @actformama 🧡

This Ramadan we’re launching a charitable giving campaign to support a healthier future for mothers🤰and babies👶 around the world!

Join us to do all we can #ForMama.



A Year After the Quake: Reflections on Loss, Recovery, and Resilience “Mays’ Courageous Journey to Healing”

Mays: A Tale of Hope and Resilience Amidst Tragedy

In the wake of a devastating earthquake that shook southern Türkiye and northwestern Syria to their core, one story of survival stands out amidst the rubble – the miraculous tale of Mays, a young girl who defied the odds and emerged from the darkness into the light of hope.

“A minute and a half altered the trajectory of our lives entirely. It’s been a year since the earthquake struck, yet its lingering effects persist” reflects Aqaba Al-Haddad (38), embracing his 4-year-old niece, Mays Al-Haddad.

Recounting the catastrophic event, he describes it as a nightmarish ordeal. “After 72 hours of relentless search through the rubble of the four-story building, rescuers reached the room where my mother and my brother’s family, including his wife and two children, were sheltering, only to find them deceased. On that fateful day, my brother and I embarked on our journey to work, striving to secure our livelihood. The arduous return to Armanaz consumed an entire day, the roads barricaded by the remnants of destroyed homes and congested with traffic bound for the afflicted areas. Our attempts to reach our families went unanswered, heightening our anxiety and panic, as we braced ourselves for the impending tragedy,” he said.

Mays Miraculously Survived!

“In the solemn aftermath of the earthquake, on the third day, we painstakingly freed my mother, my brother’s wife, and their daughter Maryam from the rubble’s grip. With heavy hearts, we tenderly laid Mays beside her departed sister, preparing them for their final rest. In the melancholic atmosphere enveloping us, a rescuer directed a beam of light onto Mays’ face as we braced for a shared fate. In a miraculous turn, Mays opened her eyes, eliciting a collective gasp of disbelief that gave way to tears of hope.” recounts Uqba.

Emergency services swiftly transported the child to Armanaz Surgical Hospital, operated by Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HIHFAD) in collaboration with Malteser International and supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. Undergoing extensive tests and monitoring, Mays was diagnosed with herpes syndrome resulting from a rubble-induced foot injury, necessitating surgery at Aqrabat Hospital in northwestern Syria.

Over the course of seven surgeries and a challenging treatment journey, Mays’ father resumed work to cover the expenses, while her bond with her beloved cat became a source of solace amidst the trauma. Describing Mays’ psychological struggle post-disaster, her uncle emphasizes the need for both psychological support and physical therapy to aid her recovery.

Attending the Armanaz Physical Therapy Center, operated by Hand in Hand for Aid and Development and supported by Choose Love, Mays receives ongoing rehabilitation services tailored to her needs. As she progresses through four months of therapy, her determination and the expertise of the center’s physical therapists bring her closer to regaining mobility and independence. Reflecting on the importance of such facilities post-disaster, Mays’ uncle expresses gratitude for the center’s presence and the positive impact on his niece’s recovery. With hope for Mays’ full recovery and the restoration of affected lives, he emphasizes the collective need for continued treatment and support for all those impacted by the earthquake.

One year following the catastrophic earthquake, Mays and numerous other injured children continue to grapple with the lingering health and psychological repercussions of the disaster, compounded by challenges in accessing essential medical care and supplies. This tragedy underscored the critical importance of unified efforts and directed support towards medical facilities, which played a pivotal role in saving the lives of over 4.5 million individuals in northwestern Syria, including more than 2 million residing in camps, as reported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Thus, the urgent imperative for both medical and psychological aid persists to provide crucial assistance to affected individuals and alleviate their suffering.

HiHFAD Achieves the CHS Certification: A Commitment to Accountability and Transparency

As we near the conclusion of 2023, we are delighted to share the exciting news! After over a decade of dedicated efforts and unwavering commitment to our mission, we are proud to announce that Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HiHFAD) has been certified against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability by the independent auditing body HQAI for our humanitarian, development, and advocacy endeavors. This monumental milestone symbolizes our steadfast adherence and dedication to upholding accountability, transparency, and, most importantly, our mission of improving the lives of those we serve.

#MakeAidBetter #Accountability #Quality #Advocacy

Our Remarkable Journey

Explore the Impressive Milestones Below

At HiHFAD, we have always upheld the values of accountability and transparency as the cornerstones of our work. These values are not just buzzwords for us; they are deeply ingrained in every facet of our organization. We believe that accountability and transparency are non-negotiable when it comes to working toward a better world. It all started when we looked at ways to improve our Accountability to Affected Populations and accountability to Partners and Donors. We immediately thought of CHS certification and HQAI in particular for the feedback we heard from the NGO Community. The organization’s aim was to be more efficient, improve systems, policies, and mechanisms, and move to the next level when it comes to the service we provide.

While obtaining CHS certification was not an easy feat but involved a comprehensive process, the Core Humanitarian Standards Audit is conducted through independent verification and certification against the CHS by an accredited, third-party auditor – currently this service is offered by Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI) and authorized by CHS Alliance. HQAI’s support was tremendous, including the grant we received, we worked closely with the HQAI Team and Auditors, who were very helpful and accessible and explained the whole process and the stages. The audit itself motivated the team, who saw it as a challenge to see the scores, and they were proud of their achievements so far; they also set themselves the task of working on any comments or areas for improvement as set by the auditors.

The depth of the audit, ranging from documents and desk review to staff, stakeholders and beneficiaries’ interviews, brought new aspects and dimensions, enabling us to see what we do from different angles and understand the commitments in depth as the latter are somehow interrelated and have some level of complexity in differentiating what exactly each commitment cover. The Verification Framework that was utilized through the audit is designed to ensure a consistent, systematic approach to assessing and verifying how the CHS is applied. It sets out indicators for the requirements (Key Actions and Organizational Responsibilities) under each CHS Commitment and Quality Criterion and contains guiding questions to inform each of those indicators. “CHS is about supporting local communities and local actors; working with local auditors made our job easier, given the level of awareness of the context and working environment.” quoted Mr. Essam Abdely -The HiHFAD Program Development & Grants Manager-.

This certification marks a significant stride in bolstering our commitment to delivering high-quality humanitarian interventions while firmly embedding Core Humanitarian Standards across our entire organization. It signifies our unwavering dedication to continually enhancing our accountability mechanisms and cultivating a culture of efficiency in humanitarian response.

We anticipate that this achievement will not only strengthen our partnerships and interventions but also reinforce our ability to provide humanitarian assistance with utmost accountability. Furthermore, it will empower us to develop a more holistic approach to elevate the organization, encompassing systems, policies, staff, and resources, thereby “will be an additional driver and motivation for us as an organization and as humanitarian workers to enhance and strengthen our humanitarian interventions and further scale up the conformity with CHS to the next level,” said Mr. Abdely.

Empowering Change: Hand in Hand for Aid and Development at the 2023 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting

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We at Hand in Hand for Aid and Development are truly honored to participate in the prestigious Grand Challenges Annual Meeting held in Dakar, Senegal, from 8-11 October 2023. This annual gathering, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its Grand Challenges Partners, has become a beacon of hope for global health and development. It’s a platform that unites visionaries, innovators, and changemakers from around the world to tackle the most pressing challenges facing humanity.

Represented by our dedicated Health and Nutrition Programme Manager, Dr. Hussam Al Khellow, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development joined this remarkable event under the overarching theme of “Science Saves Lives.” This theme resonates deeply with our mission and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those most in need. Participation in the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting is a testament to our strong partnership with the Grand Challenges community. 

At the meeting, Dr. Hussam Al Khellow had the opportunity to engage in dynamic discussions, attend informative scientific tracks, and participate in thought-provoking roundtable sessions. These interactions allowed us to gain valuable insights into cutting-edge scientific advancements and build connections with individuals and organizations that share HiHFAD vision of a more equitable world.

We are proud to be part of a global movement that has supported over 3700 projects in more than 115 countries. The 20th anniversary of Grand Challenges milestone reflects the collective impact of our dedicated partners and unwavering commitment to addressing global health inequities.

Looking ahead, Hand in Hand for Aid and Development is excited about the future collaborations and partnerships that will emerge from our participation in the 2023 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting. We all believe that by working together, we can accelerate innovation, save lives, and make a lasting difference in communities worldwide.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Grand Challenges organizing agencies and community for this incredible opportunity and reaffirm our dedication to our shared mission of improving lives and creating a better world through science, innovation, and collaboration.

A Collaborative Field Visit: Strengthening Our Impact in Northwest Syria

We are pleased to have organized our collaborative field visit and welcomed Mr. Robert van den Berg, who serves as the Head of Emergency Response in Syria and Türkiye on behalf of our key partner, Stichting Vluchteling (SV). The senior management of HiHFAD, including Dr. Ahmet Akra, our Chief Operations Officer, and Dr. Muhammad Al-Abbas, Head of Programs and Development, along with administrative personnel and coordinators played a pivotal role in conducting this trip. During this visit, we had the opportunity to tour several facilities operated by Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HiHFAD) and its valued partners. This allowed us to gain firsthand insights into the challenging conditions on the ground in northwest Syria, given the recent escalation and attacks specifically in the displacement camps.

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Our strategic partner SV has been given a comprehensive overview of our medical operations, healthcare information and archiving system, which begins at our primary warehouses and extends to the delivery of services at various medical and vital facilities which serve as lifelines for hundreds of thousands of civilians in the region. We have been particularly pleased to visit the Primary Healthcare Center in the town of Tuwame, which is supported recently by our partner organization SV. This visit reinforced the importance of our collaborative efforts and the shared commitment to making a positive impact on the ground and provided us with an opportunity to meet the dedicated medical staff there. Looking ahead, we aim to expand this partnership to encompass a wider range of services and additional areas, all geared towards meeting the diverse needs of the affected population in NWS.

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Urgent Call and Efforts in Northwest Syria Amidst Escalating Violence

As the latest toll from the airstrikes that targeted several areas in Idlib, and its surroundings stands at 18 killed and 92 wounded, HiHFAD express profound alarm regarding the escalating violence.

Source: Local activists on social media

Our field medical teams and emergency operations have been mobilized to provide urgent assistance to the wounded amid the relentless bombardment in Syria northwest. 

Around the clock, field teams have been working to urgently respond to the displaced people in temporary shelters. However, efforts have been made to meet their immediate needs for food and emergency supplies.

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Yet again, displaced people seek refuge in new areas and continue to live in massive fear of ongoing direct targeting. It is worth noting that the majority of the displaced are children and women.

We fervently appeal to the global community and compassionate individuals worldwide to take swift action and extend their support. The people of Syria are enduring indescribable hardship, displacement, and a pressing demand for critical aid. Your contributions will empower us to promptly deliver life-saving assistance.

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Yet Another Remarkable Milestone!

"Certificate of Active Engagement" in PSEAH Network

We are thrilled to announce that Hand in Hand for Aid and Development has been awarded the prestigious ‘Certificate of Active Engagement’ by the Whole of Syria Interagency PSEAH Network.

This recognition underscores HiHFAD’s unwavering dedication to actively participating, engaging, and sharing knowledge within this remarkable network and the broader #humanitarian community.

While our mission has always been to make a meaningful #impact on the lives of those we serve, this certificate is a testament to the dedication of our team and the incredible partnerships we’ve built within the NWS PSEAH Network.

As we celebrate this significant achievement, we reiterate our #commitment to pursuing excellence in our efforts to create a better world for all.

Together, we can #MakeADifference!

"A Condolence and Solidarity Statement for #Morocco"

Hand in Hand for Aid and Development expresses its profound condolences and sincere sympathies to the people of Morocco following the devastating earthquake that has afflicted the nation. We implore divine mercy and forgiveness for the victims, and our heartfelt prayers are directed towards the swift recovery of all those injured, with hopes fervently resting on the safety and rescue of those who remain trapped under the debris. We stand in solidarity during this period of collective mourning, as we continue to heal the wounds of our affected people in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye.

تتقدم منظمة يداً بيد للإغاثة والتنمية بخالص التعازي وأصدق المواساة للشعب المغربي الشقيق على مصابهم الأليم بعد كارثة الزلزال الذي ضرب البلاد، سائلين المولى عزوجل الرحمة والمغفرة للضحايا وأن يتقبلهم من الشهداء، وندعوا بالشفاء العاجل للجرحى والمصابين ونرجو السلامة لمن لازال عالقا تحت الأنقاض، يشارككم الألم بكل عمق من لازال يضمد جراح أهلنا المتضررين من زلزال سوريا وتركيا

How Our Solar Energy Services Revolutionizes Water Supply for Displaced Syrians?

In the war-torn region of northwest Syria, where access to basic necessities is a daily struggle for displaced people, a remarkable achievement has taken place. The completion of a solar energy system installation for the water station at Nasaem Al-Rahma camp is changing lives and bringing new hope to thousands. The rehabilitated water station now serves not only the Nasaem Al-Rahma camp but also neighboring camps, including Shuhaadah al Insaniya, and Abwaab al Rahmah, and several others. This extensive reach means that a minimum of 7,000 displaced individuals will have access to clean and safe drinking water, a fundamental necessity often taken for granted in stable societies.

The newly constructed solar energy system powers the water station, ensuring a reliable and sustainable water supply for the camps. This groundbreaking approach not only reduces dependence on traditional energy sources which are difficult to secure in emergency and displacement conditions but also minimizes the environmental impact, making it a win-win solution for both the displaced communities and the planet. The system provides a consistent and uninterrupted water supply, mitigating the challenges faced by the displaced population. Additionally, it reduces operating costs by eliminating the need for expensive fossil fuels or grid electricity. The system’s low maintenance requirements make it ideal for the resource-limited context of the camps.

Beyond its practical benefits, the solar energy system empowers the displaced communities by creating opportunities for skill development and sustainable living. Local technicians and engineers have been trained to maintain and operate the system, enhancing their knowledge and employability. Through the power of solar energy, this achievement brings clean and sustainable water to thousands, offering hope, dignity, and a step towards a brighter future for those affected by the crisis in northwest Syria.