As Ramadan comes to an end, we here at Muslim Hands would like to thank all our generous donors that have trusted us during the holy month. You’re their Zakat and Sadaqah and you have given hope to the Ummah by supporting those less fortunate in the UK and around the world. In particular, you gave 14,000 iftar food packages (2.5 million meals) to over 150,000 people who would not have otherwise been able to break their fasts this Ramadan. Whether they were living in extreme poverty, had recently lost their home and livelihoods to natural disasters such as the Somalia drought or the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, your donations were a lifeline.
By providing iftar food packages this Ramadan, you have not only multiplied the rewards of your fasts, but you have ensured that vulnerable families who had no idea where their next meal was going to come from could participate in the joy and blessings of this special month. This article will guide you through the impact you have made on families living below the poverty line and also those living in emergency zones.
Ramadan in a Time of Crisis
In recent times, Sri Lanka has experienced a horrendous economic crisis which has led to many families being unable to afford basic necessities like food and water. In 2022, the country’s situation worsened as the rate of inflation rose to 50% in a year and they were unable to import essential goods, such as fuel, from abroad. They endured power cuts and severe shortages of fuel. This led to the cessation of essential services like public transport and ambulance vehicles. Eventually, schools had to be closed indefinitely, while those that were still employed had to work remotely.
Sri Lanka has a population of over 22 million people, and while the majority of the country practices the Buddhist faith, approximately 9.7 percent of the population are Muslim. That is 2.15 million people who are celebrating Ramadan with us this year! While schools and essential services have reopened, the country is still billions in debt, leaving many families struggling to make ends meet.
Sahidha’s Life in Ramadan: Living Below the Poverty Line
Sahidha is a 17-year-old orphan from Sri Lanka who has been living in poverty ever since she was born, however her life only worsened after her father passed away from a heart attack. Although she receives sponsorship through Muslim Hands, which helps her attend the Puttalam science college, her family are struggling to get by. Sahidha’s mother, Kamila, is the sole breadwinner of the family, and although Sahidha is an only child, her grandmother also lives with and is dependent on them. Kamila works as a daily wage labourer earning just £1.25 a day, but she is unable to work full time due to a heart condition which she has to travel to Anuradapura hospital to get treatment for.
Between Sahidha’s studies taking up most of her time, her mother's medical treatment and the current economic crisis, prior to Ramadan their family was just barely getting by on one meal a day. Alhamdulillah, this Ramadan thanks to your generous donations, Sahidha’s family received enough food to break their fasts with an iftar meal every day.
While the economic crisis in Sri Lanka continues, the iftar that you have given this family was a particular relief for Kamila. She told us that it is very hard to get work during the month of Ramadan, so receiving these meals has meant she has not had to over-exert herself looking for daily work so her family could eat and enjoy fasting together.
Food Insecurity, Drought and Famine this Ramadan
One of the countries that has been deeply impacted by natural disasters this year is Somalia. Currently, Somalia is suffering through its worst drought in over 40 years, with six million people facing food insecurity and over 1.4 million children struggling with acute malnutrition. This disaster has destroyed millions of livelihoods, forcing wives to leave their husbands to protect their homes and travel to the internally displaced people (IDP) camps in Mogadishu with their children.
Life at the camps is not much better, as over 500,000 people live in crowded makeshift tents, forced to survive off the generosity of others in the form of aid. This Ramadan, many families unable to break their fast, prayed to Allah (swt) to send them help. Your donations were the answer to their du’as and provided vulnerable families with enough food to have an iftar and sahur meal every day.
Iftar in an Emergency Zone
One such family was Halimo, her elderly mother and her seven orphaned children. Halimo’s husband passed away four years ago, and while their living situation was good before then, now she struggles to provide for her children. Halimo makes around £2.50 a day selling charcoal in Mogadishu; however, this is not enough to put food on the table every day. This coupled with the ongoing drought and conflict in Somalia has made things extremely difficult for the family.
‘Were it not for this Ramadan project my children and I would have suffered a lot but now we are so happy with this great donation from our Muslim brothers and sisters for this great charity’
This year, your donations have meant that families in Somalia have each received 25KG of rice, 25KG of beans, 25KG of wheat flour, 10KG of sugar, 2 KG of dates and 3 litres of cooking oil, for the month of Ramadan. When Halimo received her parcel from Muslim Hands she almost cried with happiness. Prior to receiving this aid, she had nothing to support her children with and on the eve of Ramadan she did not know how they were going to survive the month.
Continue to Give with Muslim Hands
This Ramadan when you gave to our iftar appeal, you created a lasting impact for thousands of families and helped them celebrate and worship Allah by breaking their fasts. Had you not trusted us with your Sadaqah and Zakat, thousands of people would have gone without essential food this month. Whether you gave to a family living in poverty, a family living in an emergency zone or a worshipper in Masjid Al-Aqsa, you have helped save lives.
As Eid approaches and Ramadan comes to a close, you can continue to provide long-term support to the vulnerable people you provided for in this Blessed month. In the coming months, you can help us reach even more people. We have a host of other projects you can give to including;
- Donating a tube well, dig-a-well, or community well to those living without clean water
- Sponsoring an orphan in need of education for just £29.50 a month
- Providing lifesaving bread to the Blessed Lands in Yemen and Syria or becoming one of the Blessed 12,000
Don’t wait until Ramadan is over, donate now.