Aim: Construct 85 solar-powered family homes for orphans to help improve their living conditions, general health, ability to study after dark and complete their education.
In Bangladesh, children from impoverished backgrounds who have lost one or both their parents are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. Their living standards are often worse than other poor children and they are more likely to drop out of school.
In the Rajbari district of Bangladesh, many orphans live in poorly-built houses made of thatch, straw and leaves. The houses let in the rain and cold, causing children to fall ill frequently, affecting their education and increasing the financial burden of medical care.
In 2014, Islamic Relief Waqf constructed 85 houses to provide basic shelter for orphans and their families. The houses were also fitted with solar lighting systems, enabling children to continue studying after dark. As new home-owners, the families – who as widows and orphans are often marginalised in society – enjoyed an improved social standing and a greater sense of security.
The housing project also encouraged community participation, helping to strengthen social solidarity. Materials for the houses were locally-sourced and local expertise and labour was used for construction and installation, providing valuable employment opportunities.
Winter blankets for orphans in Gaza
Project cost: 1,000 GBP
Beneficiaries: 36 families of orphans
In 2014, Islamic Relief Waqf also distributed 108 winter blankets to 36 families of sponsored orphans in Al Shejaeya and Beit Hanoun in Gaza, Palestine. Both regions were devastated in the conflict and many families returned to find their homes completely destroyed – and with them all of their belongings. Each family received three blankets to help protect them against winter temperatures.
Twelve-year-old Soriful Islam is an orphan who lived in poor accommodation with his mother in Chardurlovdia, Rajbari, Bangladesh.
“We were a happy family, although my father’s income was small,” Soriful recalls. “When I was four my father died suddenly, of unknown causes, while pulling his rickshaw. After his death nobody came to help us. We spent many days without food or had just one meal a day, and we wore other people’s clothes. It was very difficult for my mother to support our family. We had no source of income.
“Islamic Relief Waqf’s Shelter for Orphan Families project fulfilled our need, providing us with safety and security. Without support from Islamic Relief it would have been really difficult for me to continue my education.
“I achieved GPA-5.00 (A+) in the Primary School Certificate examination in 2014. Now I am confident that I can continue my studies. I want to complete my education and become an independent person with good character. I want to be a doctor in the future, and serve the poor, and orphan families, without any fee.”
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