Sophie, 41, lives with her husband and teenaged son in Beiling Township, Dongxiang County, China.

We visited Sophie at home in Dawantou village last year, to find out more about her life and what it means to her family to receive Qurbani meat at Eid. Sophie’s son, Zhang Xiaoming, interpreted for his mother, who is hearing-impaired.

“We always eat the same food,” said Sophie, “but on Eid day we save some money and make deep-fried dough cake. We cannot afford meat on the holy day. My husband [works] to earn money, even at Eid. He delivers mutton to restaurants, and sometimes brings home some bones.

“My favourite meal is mutton and beef. However, we do not have enough money to buy any kind of meat. We mainly eat potatoes. In our county, potato is the easiest to grow and what we eat is grown by ourselves,” she said, adding that sometimes the local government provides the family with flour as well as a small subsistence allowance.

Sophie washing before prayer.

Sophie washing before prayer.

Struggling with food shortage

“A food shortage was caused by long period of drought. Most of the wheat and corn died before the harvest. So, I have to rely on local government’s emergency relief or ask for help from relatives.”

“Most of the time my father is in Lanzhou, earning money,” said Zhang Xiaoming, 17. “I have not seen my father for more than three months.

“He cannot come home a lot because if he is absent for one day, his boss will not give him a full salary and he has to pay for long distance travel.”

Helping the family at Eid

For Sophie and her son, then, Qurbani makes a big difference. Last year, they received a five kilogram meat pack through Islamic Relief.

“Islamic Relief has come to our village for about ten years,” said Sophie. “This is the second time I have received a meat package. I am really happy to receive this. I have not tasted meat for several months.

“The meat parcel is a great gift, and it will help my family a lot. I really appreciate this gift from people who donate to help poor people. Thanks, kind brothers and sisters. May God give you peace and health.”

Last year, more than 4,200 poor people in China benefitted from our Qurbani programme. In total, our global distribution reached over 2.1 million in 30 countries and areas around the world. Together, we can reach even more this year: give your Qurbani with Islamic Relief.