Al-Imdaad Foundation’s #MakeThemSmile Ramadan Campaign
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Al-Imdaad Foundation’s #MakeThemSmile Ramadan Campaign

For many wealthy Muslims across the world, Ramadan is a time when families get together to share sumptuous Iftaar meals with a whole host of delicacies available at the end of the fasting day. But on the other end of the scale, there are those for whom Ramadan comes against the backdrop of hunger, displacement and despair. There are thus two parallels, both Muslims, both fasting, but where for some there are smiles, for others there is constant sadness and pain.

But this Ramadan the Al-Imdaad Foundation launched a global #MakeThemSmile Ramadan feeding and food hamper campaign that allowed donors to sponsor food hampers and Iftaar meals for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. With programmes organised in 16 countries as far apart as East Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, South Asia and South East Asia, the campaign was truly global. The full list of countries which the campaign targeted includes Syria, Palestine, Malawi, Indonesia, Albania, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Greece, Bangladesh, Yemen, Somalia, Nepal, South Africa, India, and Kenya.

A number of key groups received special attention due to the dire circumstances they have found themselves in. These included Syrian refugees living in camps across the border in Jordan where large mass Iftaars were organised by the Al-Imdaad Foundation’s Jordanian office. The Iftaars took place at the Al-Imdaad Foundation’s distribution centre in the Mafraq governorate of Jordan, which is home to the world’s largest refugee camp.

Volunteers and team members from Al-Imdaad Jordan ensured that that the large number of Palestinian refugees in Jordan were also included in the distributions at various locations across Jordan. The Palestinian people of Gaza were also not forgotten and a large hamper distribution programme was organised targeting especially needy families that had been identified by our partners on the ground.

Refugees on the Greek Island of Lesvos also received daily Iftaar meals from Al-Imdaad teams. Many of these refugees were stranded on the island after making the crossing from Turkey due to backlogs in asylum applications and the constant political bickering over their final destinations. Most stay in difficult conditions in a number of camps set up across the island and were very appreciative of the Iftaar programme.

The people of Yemen who have seen their fair share of misery over the past year and face shockingly high rates of food insecurity were also targeted and received comprehensive food hampers to help them have enough to start and break their fasts. Others affected by climatic disasters in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who remained displaced due to Cyclone Roanu in the latter half of May 2016 were also prioritised for Ramadan hampers.

Through generous contributions from donors, a lot of hard work from teams on the ground and the facilitation of the Almighty, the #MakeThemSmile campaign was able to bring nutrition to large numbers of vulnerable people across the world. In this way the Al-Imdaad Foundation hopes to have re-shifted the balance a little, so that those who live against backdrops of poverty and despair could at least have the means to smile and share a meal with their families at the fasts end.

For more information or to support Al-Imdaad Foundation projects visit www.alimdaad.com or call us on 0861 786 243.

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