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The Story Behind A Crying Refugee Girl Who Was Handed A Toy Is Heartbreaking

BuzzFeed News spoke to the man in the photo who handed the girl the toy.

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 1:23 p.m. ET

Posted on August 21, 2015, at 8:58 a.m. ET

A few days ago, Ravi Singh shared these two photos: The first is of a refugee girl who didn't get a toy during distribution, and the second shows the same girl smiling after he went to a market to buy her a doll and handed it to her.

Yezidi refugee girl VERY UPSET that she didn't get a toy during distribution,I went to market & bought doll for her.

Singh's photos – which he says were taken at a makeshift camp for displaced people in Erbil, northern Iraq – quickly went viral on a number of sites.

Singh is CEO and founder of Khalsa Aid, a humanitarian organisation based in England that he says is focused "on the Sikh principles of selfless service to humanity".

He was at the camp doing work for the organisation when he met the girl, whom he doesn't wish to name.

"I was installing water filters in the camp with our local volunteer/translator Teddy when I saw a local person distributing old toys to the children in the camp," he told BuzzFeed News.

"As expected there was a huge commotion and after the distribution was completed, I saw this little girl crying into the arms of her father, she was very distraught.

"I asked Teddy to find out why this girl was so upset. The father explained that she didn't receive a toy. It broke my heart. It seems her whole world had ended."

Singh realised that many of the children in the region have nothing at all, and that a toy can mean everything. So he decided to talk to Teddy to make some calls to find a place to buy a doll for the young girl.

Was her response as ecstatic as it comes across in the photo?

"Yes. She had a huge smile! A smile to melt even a rock! Of course, she gave a big hug, too. God bless her."

Singh, who grew up in Panjab and arrived in the UK in 1981 at the age of 11, said the human tragedy in the Iraq and Syria regions led him to want to help others.

With Yezidi refugees in a camp on Iraq/Syria border. These are wonderful http://t.co/sXIWoq1xFu mustn't forget them.

"How can we talk about extinction of wildlife but not pay attention to the extinction of these people who are being persecuted so viciously?" he said.

"I am a Sikh, but foremost I am a human, and as a human I am ashamed of my race for turning their backs to the suffering of such little angels in the Middle East."

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