Clinging onto hope in Gaza
“Securing good food for my children has become my greatest hope these days,” says Um Ali, from Gaza as she describes her struggle to provide food and medicine for her family members.
“In recent years, I used to get aid from family, neighbours, and good people, but unfortunately the economic conditions have become very difficult in Gaza and no one can help us with money or provide us with food these days,” she added.
“We have come to the point of collecting the leftovers that we find on the streets,” she says sadly. “I try to pick out the good ones in order to feed my children.”
“I get very anxious when I collect leftovers for fear of food poisoning, but I don’t have any other solution,” she continues. “I previously benefited from the food aid provided by Islamic Relief. It was alleviating a lot of burden and helping me provide good food for my family. I hope that this aid returns as soon as possible; we are in a strong need to such assistance.”
Um Ali’s family depends on a simple food aid that she gets from a humanitarian institution in Gaza. She says, “With the voucher that I get, I only provide cheese and frying oil for my family, but unfortunately the amount is not enough to buy all the food needs that we are missing.”
Umm Ali’s family has no source of income: In the past, her husband worked as a laborer, but he had many health problems and has become unable to work.
But Umm Ali does not relent, and does what she can to secure money for her family. “I collect the remains of bread, then I dry it, and collect it in a large bag weighing about 25 kilograms, then I sell it for $ 2, so that people can use it to feed poultry and birds.”
“I need long days to collect bread and get this amount. The amount is very small, but it is better than nothing.”
“There is an open yard in my home, roofed by Asbestos sheets, so we get a lot of insects and flies. I need to use cleaning materials such as chlorine regularly to clean the house, but cleaning materials are expensive and I cannot buy them, so I buy small quantities, but unfortunately they are not enough.”
“I hope that in addition to the food aid, there will also be cleaning materials,” she added. “This will reduce a lot of expenses.”
The level of suffering experienced by Umm Ali varies every day, and her suffering increases in the schooling season, as she couldn’t fulfil her children’s stationary needs or buy school uniforms this year.
Her daughter says, “I did not feel the joy at the beginning of the new school year because I could not buy a new bag, uniform, or stationery. My mother gave me old notebooks of previous years to write on.”
Also, one of Um Ali’s sons was absent for two weeks from school because he did not have any shoes to wear for school.
With great sadness, she says, “I am also facing great suffering in saving the medical expenses. My husband and I are sick, and so is one of my sons who suffers from eye problems and needs glasses.”
“When we go to medical clinic and the doctor writes us some kind of medicine, I return home immediately without buying it, simply because I am struggling to save money for transportation, how will I be able to save the price of the medicine?”
“All I ask is to find someone who supports me in order to live a decent life for me and my children,” she says, “I hope Islamic Relief will be the agency that helps and supports me in that.”
Through the support of caring individuals like yourself, families like Umm Ali’s, can regain the resources they need to fulfil their immediate needs and set up longer-term solutions. Islamic Relief needs you to help make this happen. Every donation you give could provide a vulnerable family with vital aid and hope for a better future. Please, do what you can and share your compassion today through our Gaza Appeal today.