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The plight of war torn Bosnia moved a community in Nottingham to come to the assistance of those caught up in the conflict.
The unrest in the Balkans was at its peak in the early 90s and with images of the instability filling TV screens, a small groups of volunteers went out to collect money, clothes and supplies for the people of Bosnia. They worked tirelessly to pack trucks full of supplies and these first convoys of aid were, in many cases, driven by the volunteers themselves to Bosnia.
Alhamdulillah, these efforts came together and became known as Muslim Hands.
Today, Muslim Hands has grown to be one of the UK's foremost charities. Working in over 50 of the world's poorest countries and with field offices in over 30, Muslim Hands annually spends in excess of £7,000,000 on projects ranging from disaster relief and medical aid, to education and tree plantation. Read more about How Your Money is Spent.
Millions of people across the globe have and continue to benefit from the work MH carries out. With your ongoing support our work is able to continue.
Explore the story of Muslim Hands, 18 years in the making....
The plight of war torn Bosnia moved a community in Nottingham to come to the assistance of those caught in the conflict.
The unrest in the Balkans was at its peak in the early 90s and with images of the instability pouring in, a small band of volunteers went out to collect money, clothes and supplies for the people of Bosnia.
They worked tirelessly to pack trucks full of supplies and these first convoys of aid were sent by the volunteers to Bosnia.
Alhamdulillah, these efforts came together and became known as Muslim Hands or MH for short.
Fierce fighting in Kashmir forced entire families to uproot themselves from their homes and livelihoods to find security.
Muslim Hands established the Muzafarabad Medical Centre in 1994 to serve refugees and locals with basic medical help.
Alhamdulillah, this achievement in the early years of MH proved to be a critical investment when the devastating earthquake hit the area in 2005.
Still running after 15 years it has served more than 300,000 patients with checkups, medicine, medical tests and an ambulance service that the community could otherwise not afford.
The orphan sponsorship scheme starts in Africa, Asia & the Balkans. The scheme aims to provide needy oprhans within the region with a sound level of education/training to enable them to work and earn a living when they leave school or college.
Sponsorships not only cover the fees, books and clothing etc, but also provides monthly stipend to the needy family.
Read more about our orphan sponsorship scheme here: Orphan Care.
By 1996, MH had significantly increased the number of countries to which aid was distributed. The main activity in this year was to establish long-term projects where funds could reach a larger number of people for a longer period. This included schools, dispensaries and safe water supplies.
MH medical teams operated on dozens of children in Pakistan with cleft lips and palates. This corrective surgery helps children lead a normal life, where they otherwise would have difficulty speaking, eating and integrating into their community.
A team of professionals including plastic surgeons and nurses visited poor areas in Lahore to conduct the operations free of charge.
In July, one-third of Bangladesh was submerged with the most devastating floods of the decade. Muslim Hands distributed food, medicine, clothes and medical camps were organised in and around Dhaka. By boat, MH workers reached otherwise inaccessible villages.
A comprehensive programme for rebuilding homes, repairing infrastructure and installing hand-pumps was initiated. The housing project reached out to the neediest segments of society with low-cost homes built of bamboo, clay and corrugated metal sheets.
After NATO started the bombing of Kosova and refugees started flooding over the borders to Albania, Muslim Hands were on the ground distributing food parcels, blankets and mattresses. Conditions were dire, but timely attention to sanitation reduced illnesses by 50% in the Tirana refugee camp. MH employed 45 sanitation workers to run a 24-hour clean-up operation.
An Educational Play Therapy Programme helped more than 1000 children in Tirana with sleep disorders and behavioural problems.
Mosques provided an access point to the refugees lodging with Albanian families, who despite their state of poverty, gave shelter to those in need.
MH deployed 12 ambulance units with 15 doctors and drivers to provide a 24 hour medical service. When refugees flooded back into Kosova, MH accompanied them with a convoy consisting of 42 trucks, each carrying 20 tons of essential food and medical supplies.
Muslim Hands responded immediately to the Mozambique floods of 2000, sending two ex-military four-wheel drive ambulances from the UK. A medical team, mobile medical units and food parcels were taken to remote communities.
With infant malnutrition at epidemic proportions, nutritionists were employed at centres to administer high energy feeding and nurse young children back to health.
A low cost housing programme helped build new homes from local materials, giving families shelter that could last 30 years.
MH began the initiative of the 'Eid Gifts Programme' where donors are able to send a gift to a poor Muslim child for only £10. A total of 4,400 eid gifts were distributed to children across a wide variety of countries including Palestine, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Gambia, Sudan, Senegal, Mexico, Albania, Kosova and Chechnya. Each of the gift boxes contained items such as new shoes, clothes and a school bag.
Donations received in response to the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, 2002, were used for a multi-purpose approach to rebuild the communities affected. Food parcels, clothing, bedding and household kits were distributed to households. At community level, emergency medical care and mobile medical units were dispatched. 300 mosques were renovated and new homes were built. The small loans scheme helped people regain self-sufficiency.
Alhamdulillah, Muslim Hands was one of the few charities allowed to operate in Iraq.
A large number of projects were completed and MH was able to rehabilitate four schools in Fallujah and orphanages in Baghdad and Mosul.
Vital equipment for the gynaecology department, blood banks, clinical laboratories and four operating theatres were also supplied.
Our unique homeless centre for teenage girls provided protection from the dangers of the Baghdad streets.
As the bombing extended into 2004, Muslim Hands was able to continue to deliver aid across Iraq, even in Fallujah, Najaf and Karbala. MH provided the Fallujah City Water Treatment Plant with a large water pump. Food distribution was also carried out to Al-Rashad Elderly Home, Elweeyah Orphanage, Wazeeryah Orphanage and Al-Tufulah Orphanage on a monthly basis.
This was made up of a variety of projects, from a training programme for Iraqi NGOs to giving financial support for Hajj pilgrims.
The Bam earthquake in 2003 killed more than 45,000 and left 100,000 homeless.
Qurbani meat was distributed to 32,000 people on behalf of donors and other charities. For sanitation, 30 latrines and 20 field showers were installed.
A Muslim Hands office was opened in Jiroft to supervise disease prevention and rebuilding programmes. The Mayor of Bam gave Muslim Hands four acres of land to construct an orphanage and school for 100 children.
Green Ribbon Week was launched in order to raise awareness of the plight of the suffering of countless children of war in some of the most devastated countries in the world such as Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iraq and Sudan.
Through a wide variety of fundraising projects, Green Ribbon Week enjoyed attention nationwide as the young and old alike came together for a variety of activities from bungee jumping to funfairs, school cake sales and street collections.
Through the funds raised, 75 children in Afghanistan were fitted with prosthetic limbs at a MH Orthopaedic and Prosthetic Clinic in Kabul. Schools in Iraq were provided with sports equipment to help children feel a sense of normalcy in their difficult living conditions and Sudanese children in Darfur were granted vaccinations and health care.
An economy in ruins, endemic poverty and Israeli bombing rendered the humanitarian situation desperate in Gaza, Palestine.
MH handed out vital food supplies, tents and water storage tanks. Medical equipment was provided to Al-Wafa Hospital to cope with the growing burden under siege.
In Lebanon, mobile medical units were purchased and deployed in Saida and surrounding areas. Over 6000 food parcels, hot food and medical care were provided to the thousands displaced by the bombing in Saida, Tyre and Beirut.
MH provided safe water tankers & mobile power generators for southern villages after existing electric water pumps were disabled.
MH has been fortunate enough to be working in Gambia, Senegal and South Africa since its earliest days and by 2007 through your continued support, was able to serve 18 of the poorest countries in Africa.
As well as emergency aid, MH provided schools, adult literacy classes, medical clinics, health sanitation projects, dispensaries, maternity clinics, ambulance services, infant mortality reduction programmes, counselling about childcare, HIV/AIDS awareness and vaccination projects.
MH organised a sponsored walk along the Great Wall of China. The sponsored walk took place in July in the summer of 2008.
Fundraising took place up and down the country in order for walkers to raise money for 'Innocent Children of War' which was the focus of Green Ribbon Week 2008.
Conflict in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo caused a humanitarian catastrophe as tens of thousands of civilians were driven from their homes to the countryside leaving them vulnerable and in danger.
MH UK and South Africa immediately provided refugee camps with urgently needed shelter, food and medical supplies, helping families in and around Goma, the provincial capital bordering Rwanda.
The devastating Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh left at least 179 dead and over 400,000 people homeless. Experienced in emergency relief, MH Bangladesh urgently dispatched aid teams to villages travelling by boat through treacherous conditions.
Teams distributed vitally needed aid supplies to District Satkhira, and the areas of Shyamnagar Upazila, where over 90% of people had their thatched houses and mud huts completely demolished.
MH Bangladesh immediately began reconstructing homes and distributed clothing, medicine and food to over 1,000 families.
As the military took control of the country in 2011, further civil unrest within the Ivory Coast forced over a million people from their homes. As looting continued across the country, the situation for civilians became dire, with a shortage of food, water and basic amenities.
Over 150,000 refugees fled to Liberia where they sought security and protection from escalating violence.
Working in the Nimba region, MH Liberia supported displaced families across Saclepea, Boutuo and Karnplay Camps with monthly food packages and safe water.