What do a drone pilot, a pharmacist and a charity worker have in common? Answer: they’re all remarkable young people that have built bright futures with Islamic Relief’s support.

This Universal Children’s Day, Islamic Relief’s Orphan Sponsorship Programme is supporting a record-breaking 80,000 children. Today, we share some of their stories of hope and inspiration.

Orphaned children, having lost their father or both parents, are without a key source of support and protection, making them one of the most vulnerable groups in society. Most live with a surviving parent, grandparent, or other extended family members, but there remains an increased risk of becoming marginalised, destitute or exploited.

Islamic Relief’s sponsorship is helping tens of thousands of children to overcome the challenges they face – and they’re using our support to build bright futures.

Fahmi’s career as a pilot is taking off.

“Child sponsorship enhances the quality of life and socio-economic welfare of children affected by poverty, preserves their dignity, and develops their resilience to cope with future challenges in their lives,” says Anwar Ahmed, Orphans and Child Welfare Manager for Islamic Relief.

The family of each sponsored child receives a regular stipend to help toward their basic needs, and so they can go to school. Often, they also benefit from other Islamic Relief projects, such as food distributions and help with education and livelihoods.

“In some cases, the sponsorship has prevented a family from falling into extreme poverty with no food or shelter. While for others, the sponsored children have been given the opportunity to focus on their studies and successfully become qualified professionals. Some of the children have even gone on to work for their local Islamic Relief office, supporting other sponsored children,” Anwar says.

Thriving and inspiring with support from Islamic Relief

Hadeel landed an internship with Islamic Relief Palestine.

Fahmi was just 10 years old when his father passed away, leaving his mother struggling to provide for her children. Our sponsorship helped keep Fahmi in school and supported him when he began studying to become a pilot.

Fahmi graduated with excellent results, impressing an aerospace company, who offered him a job. He currently works as a drone pilot in Sumatra, Indonesia.

We first began sponsoring Hadeel when she was 15 years old. After excelling in school, she went on study English at university. When she graduated she secured a job interning at Islamic Relief Palestine.

“My work is the best thing in my life,” 27-year-old Hadeel says. “It helps me to get out of my sadness and isolation and play a role in my community.”

In Sudan, 23-year-old Fatima also has a bright future ahead.

Pharmacy graduate Fatima is ready to take on a master’s degree.

An excellent student, Fatima has graduated from university with a pharmacy degree and completed her mandatory national service. She volunteers at a breast cancer awareness campaign and plans to embark on a master’s degree and PhD.

“Islamic Relief supported me throughout my life and school,” Fatima says. “It solved many problems in my life, especially in education. Islamic Relief was my second home where I could get any support I needed.”

The stories of Fahmi, Hadeel and Fatima are a testimony to how children and families have used our assistance to improve their lives, becoming role models and leaders in their communities in the process.

We are truly honoured to be a part of their journeys.

Find out more about the impact of Islamic Relief’s orphan sponsorship Programme in ‘Rays of Hope: Testimonies from the Orphan Sponsorship Programme’.