Halima Issa, 48, lives in Niamey, the capital of Niger. The widowed mother-of-seven works hard to provide for her family by cooking and selling food – but poverty makes daily life a struggle, particularly at Ramadan.

“In our life, challenges come from all sides: food, housing, healthcare, and so on,” she said in 2013. “How well we cope with these challenges depends on how much we earn. It is very difficult to live. I would say we are only trying to survive each and every day God makes.

“When there is a shortage of food, we reduce our daily meals from three to one. The children always feel hungry.”

Halima benefits from Islamic Relief’s orphan sponsorship scheme, which provides one of her children with a regular allowance to meet their daily needs and support them through school. As head of a vulnerable family, Halima has also received Ramadan food parcels for the last six years.

“The Ramadan pack helped me and my family start Ramadan. At the time we received the food packs, our supplies were depleted. We get sugar and millet to supplement our diet. These products are used widely during Ramadan so having them is a great support.”

Last year, Halima’s food parcel contained 25kg of millet, as well as cooking oil and sugar. It was one of almost 6,800 parcels distributed in Niger during Ramadan.

“Ramadan strengthens our faith in God. It’s a month in which Muslim people are most compassionate towards others, especially the rich towards the poor.”

Though the food parcel eased Halima’s worries during the holy month, she hopes for support to enable her to lift her family out of poverty, permanently.

“I know there will always be rich and poor people in the world but if we are given a chance, maybe we can put an end to this situation, God willing.”

Through the power of your zakat, you can ease the burden for a family like Halima’s during the blessed month. Please donate to our Ramadan Appeal today.