As the temperatures plummet this winter, hundreds of thousands of families face a daily battle to stay alive without the heating, food, and clothing they desperately need. Winter generally brings higher expenses, such as heating bills and warm clothes, but for families who already struggle throughout the year, they can’t afford the higher bills. They risk illnesses, and potentially, death. Refugees, who have no option but to live in make-shift shelters, exposed to the elements, are left to worry if their children will die from freezing or starving to death.
WF-AID are working in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom to distribute winter essentials to help them through these bitter months.
With respect to Pakistan, we are embarking on a project to distribute winter essentials to needy individuals and families across northern areas where the winter is particularly severe. Our ground partners are working
in Skardu, Gilgit, Astore, Parachinar, Mianwali & D.I.Khan, giving help to those living in poorly made settlements. With no defence against the cold, winter conditions, the reality is that these vulnerable people could die as they can be trapped from the poor infrastructure caused by adverse weather. They suffer from a restriction on income as the conditions cause a standstill in their daily lives, leading to a heightened vulnerability.
To help them during these harsh winter months, we are providing widows, orphans and the general needy with thick quilts, blankets, and shawls. This would be of great support for their physical and mental conditions, being able to go about their normal activities with some warmth.
The aforementioned locations where WF-AID are targeting the project are all either overwhelmingly Shia or have a significant minority of Shia population, most of whom have suffered persecution or are currently in a destitute condition.
This is a town in the province of Khyber Paktunkhwa and is the capital of Kurrum District. The town is connected to Afghanistan by the Peiwar Pass, a strategic valley located 20km west of Parachinar, where heavy snowfall closes the region for up to five months per year. The town has been frequently hit by terrorist attacks against the Shia population, with over 500 people being killed since 2007. This has left numerous widows and orphans without any support. Due to the geography being on a hilly area, Parachinar has extreme climates, with harsh winters and hot summers.
This is the northernmost territory administered by Pakistan part of the greater Kashmir region on the China and Afghanistan border, where the Hindu Kush mountains and the K2 peak are. The towns of Skardu, Gilgit and Astore are all part of this region where the ground agency is targeting the relief efforts. These areas suffer from extremely cold temperatures in the winter, where it often remains cold during the nights even in summer. Snow is common for four months.
Located in Punjab Province, this hilly area suffers from temperatures extremes – with long, hot summers and cold, dry winters. It is a remote one of the poorest districts in Punjab. Most of the Shia population are settled near the River Indus, where they suffer from loss of property and life each time the flood banks break.
WF-AID would like to request the support of The Mohsin & Fauzia Jaffer Foundation, USA, to distribute warm shawls and material for shalwar kameez to the needy beneficiaries in the aforementioned locations.
These will be made out of warm woollen material to keep the beneficiaries warm from their heads up to their waist. The warm dress and shawl can be used continuously throughout winter for 2-3 years, improving the sustainability of the relief initiative.
The following are real-life beneficiary stories from WF-AID’s Winter Appeal in Pakistan last year. Name changed to protect identity.
Zeeshan Haider, 6th class at a school in Mari Indus, is an orphan. His father died 2 years ago. His siblings are 6 sisters and 2 brothers, who are being brought up by their relatives. The extended family are so poor they are unable to buy Zeeshan and his siblings proper clothing. He was without adequate clothing during the winter months at school. WF-AID provided a sweater to him and his siblings and protected him from the bitter cold.
Muhammad Ramzan, of D.I. Khan, was initially a resident of District Tannk, KPK. He was a labourer to earn resources for his family as a father of 7 children. After the worst of the sectarian conflict and the targeting of Shia Muslims in the region, he and his family migrated to Jabbar Wala to save their own lives and he worked as a labourer cultivating the land of villages. This is one of the most demanding and lowest paying work in rural Pakistan. When the distribution team providing him and his family with warm winter clothing, he was weeping and his hands were in the air with countless prayers for those who supported his family.
The cost of these warm shawls and material is approximately USD $16 for each piece An ideal quantity for the initiative would be 1,000 units in total. Therefore, the total request is for USD $16,000 along with the WF-AID project implementation and operational amount of 5% ($800).
|Item Description||Quantity||Total (in USD)|
|Woollen Shawls & Woollen Material (for Shalwar Kameez)||1,000||$16,000|
One of the initiatives which WF-AID has explored in uplifting humanity at large is the collective marriage programme, most notably that which is undertaken by our ground partners in Pakistan.
The selection procedure is initiated by needy Shia families who want to get married but don’t have the financial resources themselves. They notify the organisation in confidence and submit their joint applications, which are scrutinised and verified for eligibility by the organisation and by Ulama-e-Karam. Deserving families are selected for assistance and thereafter the place and date of the marriage ceremonies are determined.
The organisation arranges for a large community function in which a maximum of 50 couples are present with their families. In this ceremony, the Nikah is recited along with words of wisdom by respected speakers and a wedding feast is prepared. The dowry is arranged by the organisation with all the necessary items.
Guests who are invited to attend the marriage ceremonies include brothers and sisters from other denominations as well as non-Muslims, in order to develop a mutual understanding and relationship between people from all walks of life.
The location of the collective ceremonies are held in particularly needy areas such as Parachinar, District Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan and Bhakkar. At present, there is a requirement of a large ceremony to take place in Parachinar for 50 couples who have been approved to receive the support. These individuals have been particularly affected by the turbulent situation in the region, either directly by the loss of family members or indirectly with the economic loss of income. The budget is provided in the document below.
The total for the initiative for 50 marriages, including operational and project delivery costs is USD $35,658. This works out at under $715 per couple!
Thank you for helping over half a million people living in need this Shahr Ramadan! 66,168 Total Beneficiaries across India, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Kenya and Zanzibar
Each year, your generous donations provide vital support to people during the Holy month of Ramadan and this year was no different. WF-AID, through our partners on the ground, were helping to ensure that people all around the
world feel the blessings of the Holy month.
Our month-long lasting Food Packs helped vulnerable families in poverty stricken and war-torn countries as well
as refugees fleeing conflict. This year, we were able to distribute 47,628 Food Packs across 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
As part of our aim to empower impoverished communities, we have worked with our partners to implement long term solutions, allowing communities to work towards earning a living. We have funded cooking and baking courses for 12 displaced Syrian widows and orphans, and provided them with the tools and equipment they need to make goods to sell at the local supermarket. Alhamdulillah, this has been a success so far and the women are enjoying their courses and are already selling the products they make!
This has all only been possible through the generous support from our donors, the hard work of our partners on the
ground and tireless volunteers, who have worked through difficult conditions to help facilitate the Ramadan distribution. May Allah (swt) accept your good deeds and reward you all for your efforts.
On behalf of every single one of the 654,532 beneficiaries, I thank you. I hope you enjoy reading this report, which shows some of the impact you have had.
Head of WF-AID
WF-AID’s Ramadan Relief appeal works to help some of the families most in need around the world during the Holy month of Ramadan. We distribute food aid in several countries around the world, including Kenya, India, Pakistan, and Yemen.
Food packs give refugees and families a rare opportunity to receive essential nutritional aid, which can sometimes be the difference between life and death. With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, the need for food this year was higher than ever. Food markets closed, prices increased, and people were unable to work. Families who rely on community iftars didn’t have that option due to lockdown.
We worked with our partners to ensure each distribution was done safely, with team members wearing full PPE and marking 2m spaces on the ground for the beneficiaries to stand. Each food pack we distributed contained locally sourced items, so your valuable donations not only helped those in immediate need but supported the local economy. As with every year, we made sure that each individual pack was filled with food that is tailored to the tastes and flavours of local diets. Last year, we included hand soaps and cleaning and hygiene products to help people during this pandemic.
The purpose of the aid is to provide families in need with food and cash gifts to ensure they have meals to eat during the Holy month of Ramadan. It also helps to reduce the burden on families in this current climate where COVID-19 has meant millions of people around the world are without employment, therefore making it even harder to put food on the table. It furthermore works as an act of tableegh as it encourages families to focus on their fasting and ibadaat during this Holy month without the worry of how they will eat, therefore allowing communities to establish fasting and prayer as commanded by Allah SWT and the Ahlubayt (Alayhim us salam).
Who Will Benefit
The project will benefit needy children, adults and elderly across Pakistan, India, and Tanzania.
Anjuman Samaji Behbood
The charity started its activities with a profile of general welfare activities and have now branched out to several forms of charitable work such as installing WASH facilities, eye clinics, winter distributions, micro finance
projects and of course Ramadan distributions across several deprived areas such as Mianwali, Skardu and Parachinar.
Due to inflation, prices are increasing daily in Punjab and Pakistan as a whole and this is resulting in the poor becoming poorer. Unemployment is very high and in the villages there are many young people who do not have work and are therefore unable to support their families, more so now because of COVID-19.
Bilal Muslim Mission – Tanzania
Temeke District is one of the three districts of Dar es Salaam and has a historic significance for the Khoja Community as it is where the birth of Bilal Muslim Mission was envisioned by AFED in the 60’s.
As BMMT have been involved in community activities for many years their ground research has also established areas where the need differs to others. For example, the number of people per family differs from coastal and non coastal areas due to factors such as polygamy being more common and a high birth rate.
In coastal areas the number of people in one family may be up to 9 whereas non coastal maybe a maximum of 7. This then means the food ration quantity is amended to cover a larger family for one month.
Tanzeemul Makatib was established in 1968 with the aim of ‘upliftment & development’ of the depressed class within the society, especially the Indian Shia Muslim community by propagating education, guidance, awareness
and training. Since its establishment, Tanzeemul Makatib has been continuously dedicated towards providing education, raising social awareness, offering social counselling, training, and publishing & distributing text books & other teaching aids etc. contents etc.
to the community.
In addition to this, Tanzeemul Makatib distribute food packs and/or cash gifts to those they have identified as in desperate need for the Holy month and have done so for many years.
Imamia Education and Welfare
Established in 1989, Imamia Education and Welfare Trust has been dedicated to socio, economic, education and upliftment of the community. This has mainly been through religious and political classes and events but
also providing medical aid and scholarships. They have also been involved in the distribution of food during the month of Ramadan to several areas across Kanataka and Andhra Pradesh for many years.
Details of Provision
The families are provided with a variety of essentials to provide them with sehri and iftar over the Holy month and in some places, communal iftars will take place. Each food pack includes staple and nutritious items such as rice, flour, lentils, chick peas, dates, sugar and tea.
WASH (Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene) Complete Report in Uganda
WF-Aid would like to express its gratitude to the Mohsin & Fauzia
Jaffer Foundation USA for their unwavering support for our
projects and for assisting humanity at large. In this instance, the
Foundation has contributed just shy of USD $21,000 towards our
WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) initiative in Uganda, as part
of their wider commitment to WF-AID’s Ali Asghar Water Appeal.
The initiative involved the installation of water wells and a repair &
maintenance programme for boreholes across three districts in Eastern
Uganda, where access to clean, safe drinking water was severely limited.
Our ground agency conducted a thorough needs analysis which found that
a lack of adequate infrastructure made access to clean water extremely
difficult in the scouted areas and had forced the local populace to fetch
water from unprotected wells, streams, ponds and still water – which had
been causing several waterborne diseases.
They had also noted the severity of the risks posed to girls who fetch water,
based on the existing gender roles in this part of the developing world
where the burden of responsibility of fetching water is on women and girls.
Furthermore, they had found that the average time consumed for fetching
water is 4-5 hours per trip, with 2-3 trips per day not being uncommon.
Having clean water readily available in a village results in the time
consumed in searching for water being converted to other more
productive activities, especially in the case of girls having more time in
education and in income generating activities. There are also numerous
indirect benefits to a water programme such as this, including the increase
of healthiness amongst the population (due to a reduced chance of
contaminating waterborne diseases) as well as boosting agricultural
The following report will provide an evaluation of the impact of the project
with beneficiary statistics and key information, as well as case studies.
Water Well Installation
One aspect of the project involved digging and installing HDW (hand-dug
wells) in nine villages across the three districts of Bukedea, Kibuku and
Pallisa, in Eastern Uganda. These areas were targeted through the needs
analysis due to inadequate government funding for villages with low
infrastructure levels and their remoteness.
Each well built serves at least 100 different families, totalling 1,280 families
for all nine villages, which the table below summarises:
The cost of digging one well and installing a hand pump was $1,200, with all
nine coming to $10,800. This means that the provision of clean, drinking
water to a family through HDW’s on average came to $8.44!
HDW’s supplement the existing water sources, such as local wells and
boreholes, and are a traditional method of obtaining groundwater in the
developing world. The wells are lined with concrete cylinders to prevent
pollution or disintegration, as well as a drainage channel to prevent waste
water seeping back into the well.
Upon receipt of the funds, the project underwent the following stages:
1. Project initiation meeting with stakeholders and preparation of the work plan.
2. Site visit and inspection of the boreholes to determine the parts to be installed for repair, and assessment of areas to install the HDWs.
3. Selection of vendors and procurement of equipment.
4. Selection of local contractors to implement the project.
6. Monitoring, supervision, and training of village health teams on sanitation, usage, and maintenance.
7. Compilation of report.
As noted on point 4, the project involved training water supply caretakers
and village health teams per parish. These trained teams form a steering
committee on water facilities and health-related problems in the local
community. This enhances the sustainability element of the project, which
builds the capacity of village health teams and households in water
maintenance, sanitation and good hygiene practices.
The below table denotes individual beneficiary statistics per HDW:
Borehole Repair & Maintenance
The other aspect of this project involved repairing 30 existing boreholes, 10
in each district of Bukedea, Pallisa and Kibuku. These existing boreholes
had become impractical for use due to spoiled parts such as pipes, rods,
valves, pedestals, head assemblies and cylinders – yet had the possibility of
functioning as a new borehole once properly repaired and maintained. This
is the most efficient manner of preserving an existing borehole well, which
has the ability to produce clean water for several years.
The number of beneficiaries per well in each village is between 700-900,
which is further noted on subsequent pages.
Beneficiary Breakdown of the Boreholes
The above illustrates that 25,591 individuals will benefit from the
repaired and ongoing maintenance of the 30 boreholes.
In this manner, the average cost of the repair and maintenance of each
borehole came to $250, with the total cost of all 30 being $7,500. As an
analysis, this means that access to clean water for an individual residing in
one of these villages cost less than $0.30!