In Bosnia Islamic Relief’s Orphan Sponsorship programme is a lifeline for vulnerable children and their families, many of whom had their lives torn apart during the Bosnian War in 1992.
The families of sponsored children receive a regular stipend to cover the costs of their basic needs, as well as access to healthcare and food distributions. Boys and girls are supported to attend school and make the most of their education. Where needed, we also deliver psychosocial support to help children overcome the wounds of trauma.
Supporting Nermina and Ilhan
Nermina, a mother from Sehitluci, Bosnia, is among those we help.
“I have one son, named Ilhan, who I raise alone. Ilhan’s father left us when I was pregnant, he didn’t want to support us, and just disappeared. So now I am Ilhan’s friend, mother, father…everything. We just have each other,” says Nermina.
“We lived in an old barrack which was small and very run-down. I couldn’t afford to pay rent, and I have no job. The only income I earned was from the occasional request to clean houses, and that is all Ilhan and I lived off. We struggled to afford daily life.”
Then, Ilhan joined our orphans sponsorship programme. It has proved a lifeline, explains his mother.
“Islamic Relief helped me a lot. This support covers my everyday costs. I use this income for food, electricity and for clothes and other items for my son. It helps me so much. To be honest, if it wasn’t for Islamic Relief’s help, I really don’t know how I would manage everything.
“Islamic Relief also helped me rebuild my home. I’ve been living in this since before the war in Bosnia. However, during the war it was totally destroyed. I fled to Germany for my safety and for health reasons during the war, and when I returned, my home was in a terrible condition and there was no electricity or running water. But step by step with the support of Islamic Relief, I have been able to repair and rebuild my home.
“Islamic Relief’s support came at a time when I needed it the most. I have no parents or family to support me, all Ilhan and I have is each other.
“When my husband left me, I felt terrible. I felt deeply betrayed and abandoned. I didn’t know what to do. I was left alone with my child. As time went on, a friend told me about Islamic Relief. Their support gave me the courage I needed to move on, and restored my faith that there are still good people in this world. Then I was able to gather my strength and move on with the support of the organisation.
“I want to thank Islamic Relief and our donors because thanks to your support, I am happy and my child is happy. May Allah bless you all.”