As poverty continues to deepen in blockaded Gaza, Islamic Relief is providing an economic lifeline to vulnerable families that need support to earn a decent living.
Kifaia’s family were one of many struggling in the coastal enclave, in which over 30 per cent of the working-age population are unemployed and well over half a million people are food insecure.
“Although six of my children have degrees, not one of them has a job.” said Kifaia. “I put my heart and soul into raising and educating my children, but they are now unemployed.”
Kifaia struggled to feed and clothe her family before she joined Islamic Relief’s micro-finance programme. She received an interest-free qard hasan loan to set up a small shop, and then a murabaha loan, which allowed her to earn a decent living. Murabaha loans see Islamic Relief buying essential items for an enterprise, which the family pay back as soon as they can on a no-interest basis.
“In the beginning we faced hardship. But, praise to God, since opening the shop, things are getting better. I tell everyone I know who has a small shop, or is going through difficult times to go to Islamic Relief, who are willing to help. I have been supported by them twice, and life is better now.
“I really thank those that helped us. Now we are all happy, eating good food, wearing good clothes. My children are happy and able to go to better universities and we no longer lack the money to buy tea or clothes like other people. We are comfortable.”
For over 15 years, Islamic Relief has been providing a much-needed lifeline with its ethical finance programmes. In over a dozen countries, we offer poor people – who are typically excluded from conventional schemes – the chance to build a route out of poverty through Islamic micro-finance.