Many Gazans rely on humanitarian support from organisations such as Islamic Relief, which has been tackling poverty and suffering in Palestine for over two decades. As part of our efforts, we provide a safety net for the poorest families, including those with orphaned children; meeting their basic needs and making sure they can access healthcare and education.
Thanks to Islamic Relief Waqf support in 2017, Islamic Relief was able to transform the prospects of 30 poor students. Struggling to afford fees and essentials such as textbooks and transport costs, the students were likely to have to give up their higher education studies. We provided financial support to students, so they could complete their studies at the Islamic University and the University College of Applied Sciences. Some 64 per cent of those helped were women, and most had families already relying on assistance from other Islamic Relief projects. As graduates, the young men and women are better equipped to earn a decent living through which to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Mai Al Fasees has at last been able to graduate from university, thanks to Islamic Relief Waqf.
“I hoped to… share with my friends the joy of graduation after years of hard work, but my inability to pay the fees prevented me from achieving this dream,” she told us, explaining that she finished her Education degree in 2016. “My friends invited me to attend their graduation. It was such an intolerable feeling to be sitting among the audience, instead of sharing their happiness.”
Mai needed to pay the fees she had accumulated before she could obtain her certificate from the university – but this was beyond her means. She and her eleven relatives live together in the Shejaeya neighbourhood, and cannot meet even their basic needs.
“No one works in my family. One of my brothers suffers from cerebral palsy. My parents are ill and unable to work, and we can barely provide food and for medical care for my brother.
“Islamic Relief Waqf helps us through the social safety net project by providing basic food items. Still, our living conditions are so bad: we do not have a kitchen, the toilet is in a very bad state, and the house is infested with insects.”
Without her degree certificate, Mai was unable to get a job. “I often think of teaching the children of the neighbourhood at home for a small fee, but I need a blackboard, chairs and a table for them, and unfortunately I can provide none. I hope I get my university degree in order to start applying for jobs so I can help my family.”
In 2017, Mai received support from Islamic Relief Waqf which transformed her prospects. She was given a university grant, funded by Islamic Relief Waqf, to enable her to graduate from university at last.
“My happiness was indescribable when I was invited to go to Islamic Relief and sign the contract. This grant will help me pay a large part of my accumulated fees,” said Mai, who is now better able to compete in Gaza’s labour job market. She is already planning what she will do when she secures a job, and with it, the chance to escape poverty for good.
“My wishes may look so simple, but they mean a lot to me. I cannot count what I will buy if I get a job. I need a lot of clothes, a wardrobe and a bed. I thank Islamic Relief for standing by my side, and supporting me and my family.”
The difference between IWF and other organisations is that IWF will invest your donations and bring a sustainable return year on year and serve people indefinitely.
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