Hilma Marsook, 45, lives in a two-roomed house in Jinna Nagar, Sri Lanka.

“My husband passed away 12 years ago in an accident while working in Kalmalai quarry,” Hilma told us last year. Since then, she has shouldered sole responsibility for her daughter, two sons, and disabled father.

“I struggled with huge food shortages during the displacement due to ethnic conflict in 2007. In the welfare camp in Kantalai, we were provided with cooked meals and later, we received dry food with kitchen utensils and a kerosene stove. We stayed in a temporary hut for more than a month.

“Once we returned to our home, there was nothing.  We had difficulties and hardship in restarting our lives. We managed by sharing with others. I borrowed money to buy food and essential commodities, and paid back them once I earned some money.

“I had difficulty running a shop, due to lack of support for purchasing goods. Presently, I make and sell string hoppers (a delicacy made from rice meal or wheat flour) and prepare mid-day meals for school-children. Without money for my daughter to continue further studies, she helps me prepare food and run the business. I earn 400 rupees (1.91 GBP) a day.”

Providing education and healthcare is difficult

Hilma’s eldest son, 17-year-old Mohamed, has recently got a job as a shop labourer in Colombo city. Like his mother, he earns very little – but it helps his younger brother, Ihsan – a talented student – to continue his studies. Teenaged Ihsan is in grade seven in the village school, and learns English at evening class.

Hilma prepares a family meal, using the Qurbani meat.

Hilma prepares a family meal, using the Qurbani meat.

“Provision of education and quality health care is always a challenge for me, but I am doing my best to afford what is possible,” said Hilma.

In 2013, the family were among more than 198,000 Sri Lankans to benefit from our Qurbani distribution. Hilma received two kilograms of beef, with which she could prepare nutritious meals for Eid celebrations.

“We are very happy about the way the Islamic Relief treated us during the Eid celebrations. The meat packet from Islamic Relief is a great help – our need for quality and tasty food on Eid days is fulfilled. We express our since thanks to the people who donate and who worked to bring this assistance to us.”

This year, you can help us to make Eid extra-special for a poor family like Hilma’s. Please donate to our Qurbani appeal today.

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