28-year-old Abdullah Malik is no stranger to fundraising. As well as joining Muslim Hands for the Great Wall of China challenge to raise money for mothers in Afghanistan last year, he was also in Gambia helping orphans and needy children in December.
On February 12th Malik made the journey to the Salzburg refugee camp to help MH teams serving daily meals to families there. We caught up with him to learn more about his experience.
‘It's been more than two weeks now since I returned from the Salzburg refugee camp in Austria. After my last charity trips I have written an update of my trip pretty much straight after, but I have found it difficult this time round to put into words what I experienced. Never in my life have I felt so many emotions in a single day.
On average 2,000 people pass through this camp daily. On the day I was there only 1,000 did. However, that number was significant enough to make an impact. The camp set up is better than I thought it would be - there is the opportunity for the refugees to get clothes, food and rest. But still, it was not a nice place to be.
People go through an orchestrated system of getting off the coach, into one room, getting in a queue to be given food, eating the food and returning to the room, waiting for their coach to take them to Germany, getting marked with a number and being transferred to another room from which they will exit the camp forever.
Men, women, children and families all sitting around with all their worldly possessions in whatever bag they could carry - looking tired, destroyed, broken. All I could do was imagine myself in their shoes, my nieces in their shoes, and what they have been through at such a young age. It was heart-breaking.
In total, the group I went with raised £11,000 and this will feed refugees for a month. Going to the camp has allowed me to appreciate a lot more all the good work Muslim Hands does with feeding the refugees, the Red Cross does for providing aid and all other the other charities and volunteers involved. I went for a day and I was shattered after it, physically and emotionally - they do this every day.
I would like to, with all my heart and everything I have, thank all those that donated to this cause - it really does make a difference to the lives of the thousands of refugees that pass through this camp daily'.
Join Muslim Hands for the next trip in March
By Tijen Horoz, Senior Communications Editor