In a country in which nearly a quarter of the population live on less than $1 a day, food parcels distributed by Islamic Relief in Nepal are bringing relief and joy.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further worsened suffering in the country, as many have lost their livelihoods amid restrictions to help prevent the spread of the virus. The virus is rife, and is having a particularly devastating impact on daily wage workers, who have been unable to work. This has left many families struggling to find food with which to start and end their fasts this Ramadan.
We’re sharing stories of how your generosity is helping to restore hope for vulnerable families in Nepal during the holy month.
Together, we help to transform people’s Ramadan all over the world. We truly show our brothers and sisters across the globe that we are one.
Easing the burden for Sagira and her family
This Ramadan is particularly challenging for Sagira from Rautahat, Nepal, who’s son recently passed away.
“We have been struggling to survive since my son’s death. We are all still mourning and falling apart,” says Sagira, who explains that her son was the main breadwinner for their household.
“My daughter-in-law is not allowed to leave the house until 40 days after her husband’s death – the Muslim ritual of Iddat – and this has made it very difficult for us to earn money. To make matters worse, we don’t have clean drinking water so we are forced to collect it from others.”
Sagira now struggles to provide for her 4 grandchildren, spending long days working in the local fields to earn a meagre wage. Her young grandson has also been forced to start working in a brick factory to help support the family.
Then, Islamic Relief distributed food parcels to Sagira’s family, providing them with staple foods such as flour, oil, bread and rice to help ease their burden during Ramadan.
“The quality of food which we received from Islamic Relief during Ramadan is very high. We are very happy as it helps to satisfy our appetite after we have been fasting. Islamic Relief is helping many families like ours, and no one in the community will have to suffer from hunger during Ramadan,” says Sagira.
Ramadan is now an easier and even more special time for Sagira and her family. They pray together, and come together after sunset to break their fasts with a balanced meal. Neighbours share food, and it is a time of happiness and togetherness for their community.
Sagira also explains that receiving food means that the family will be able to save money throughout the holy month, which will ease their suffering after Ramadan too.
“Islamic Relief always support needy families in our community, without discriminating in the slightest. We are fortunate to receive this kind of support”, says Sagira.
Essential support for Ajmeri’s family
Mother-of-3 Ajmeri, from Rautahat, and her 2 sons earn a small daily wage from working in agriculture.
“My sons and I are daily wage labourers. The survival of my family, including my grandchildren, depends on us. If we miss a day of work, we have to borrow money from our neighbours to buy food. During the pandemic, our family struggled to get enough food,” says Ajmeri.
The family’s inadequate income leaves them unable to afford clean water or medical care, including for Ajmeri’s son, who has a gall bladder condition.
“Ramadan is an auspicious festival in our community, where we celebrate throughout the month. We keep fasts throughout the day and break our fast with family after the sunset. We get very tired and cannot work much [in Ramadan], and therefore earn little. We still try to work because otherwise we would starve,” said Ajmeri.
Islamic Relief distributed food baskets to Ajmeri and her family, which helped to ease their burden.
“With the support of the food packages from Islamic Relief, we have enough food to give us energy to get through our fasts the next day. We’re thankful that none of our family members have to sleep on an empty stomach, even if we’re unable to work. During Ramadan, Islamic Relief brings happiness to our family with these food items. We are very happy and fortunate.
“Saying thank you would never be enough to express our happiness at the support provided to our families and to others struggling, like us, in our community. Even the poor families are now able to celebrate Ramadan”, says Ajmeri.
With your generosity, Islamic Relief will continue to reach those most in need this Ramadan, distributing food safely to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Feel their pain. Donate now.
Read more about Ramadan 2021 with Islamic Relief here.