Islamic Relief’s Seda Suleymanova sheds light on the complex humanitarian situation in Chechnya this Ramadan, and how we’re helping struggling families.

13 years have passed since hostilities ended in Chechnya. The situation in our country remains difficult and many people are still suffering from the effects of the war. Communities lack education and training, making it difficult to find a job.

Many live in poor housing conditions and have physical and mental health problems. A lack of jobs, coupled with low incomes, inflation and rising food prices have left many uncertain where their next meal is coming from.

The situation is even worse this Ramadan

Every year we provide packages containing essential food items to help families get through the blessed month without worrying about how they will feed their children.

This Ramadan the help has been needed more than ever before, after a dramatic rise in food prices left people living below the poverty line in desperate need.

Even before the holy month, we had an unprecedented number of calls and visits to our office from people living in difficult circumstances, eager to find out when food distributions would begin. Many local charities also contacted us to ensure those they serve were not left behind.

Helping to ease the burden

This Ramadan our food distribution programme in Chechnya is reaching around 1,400 vulnerable families, helping to make life easier during the holy month.

Among those we’re helping is mother-of-3 Madina from Gronzy. Madina has cancer and, unable to work, struggles to provide for her children and pay for her medical expenses. It was heartbreaking to learn that she has no relatives or friends she can turn to, and feels she must bear her burdens alone.

This year she received a food package from Islamic Relief, easing her burden and allowing her to save some money to buy other essential items.

Despite her struggles, Ramadan is a month of joy, happiness and relief for Madina and she continues to thank Allah for His blessings. It was incredible for me to witness her strong faith and positivity amid such a difficult situation.

As the suffering is so widespread in Chechnya, sadly there are still many families who we have been unable to reach this Ramadan. Many are going hungry and have nothing with which to start and end their fast, and desperately need help.

Empowering communities in Chechnya

Islamic Relief works with communities in Chechnya throughout the year to help build reliable livelihoods and empower them to become self-reliant.

Our interventions include providing vulnerable families with cattle, the training and equipment, so families can earn a living.

We provide equipment to vocational colleges, to help strengthen their courses so that students have better opportunities to find work. We also provide those from poorer backgrounds with free daily meals to encourage them to gain an education and improve their future prospects.

Islamic Relief is helping people to completely change their lives, and free themselves from having to depend on help from others.

It’s an honour to serve those in need

At work I meet families whose everyday life is extremely challenging. It can be difficult to hear their stories, but I’m in awe of their resilience and faith that God will improve their situation.

Their strength is truly inspirational and has helped me on a personal level, as I’ve learnt to see Allah’s blessings in every situation.

Ramadan is a time for increasing our empathy for others and thinking of those less fortunate.  I’m grateful to be serving communities in need, especially during this blessed month when good deeds are rewarded multiple times, insha’Allah.

With Allah’s mercy, we are working hard to help those in need in Chechnya. Your support means we can do even more to change lives and futures.