Islamic Relief donors are now sponsoring 20,000 orphans in 21 countries worldwide. From Indonesia to Mali, the lives of tens of thousands of orphans are being transformed by our sponsors.
Children like nine-year-old Salam from Bangladesh have been offered a real chance to escape poverty. Salam lives with his mother and siblings in a one-room corrugated iron shack.
After her husband died, Salam’s mother, Saleha worked as a housemaid, earning a meagre income. The family ate vegetable leaves for food, and Saleha would sometimes bring home bowls of rice from work.
In 2006 Salam was sponsored by a donor from USA. He now enjoys three good meals a day and is at the top of his class at school. Salam’s ambition is to become an engineer so that he can build a house for his mother.
The Orphan Sponsorship Programme began in 1986, and has grown every year, helping more and more vulnerable children.
In 2003, IR set up the alyateem website which allows donors to search a database of orphans waiting for sponsors. IR donors have sponsored 15,700 children over the past four years – an average of 15 orphans sponsored each day.
The programme has expanded each year to include more children in more countries. In 2006, IR donors spent over €6.5 million Euros on supporting their orphans.
Gillian Guglas, from the UK, sponsors 25 orphans with Islamic Relief.
“Even though I’m sat thousands of miles away from where the need is, it doesn’t mean that I can’t make a difference. I feel like they are my children,”
More than sponsorship
Islamic Relief's international team of Orphan Welfare Officers ensure that sponsored children receive comprehensive care.
Water, sanitation, healthcare, livelihood and education projects often run alongside the sponsorship programme to help orphans and their community become self-sufficient.
All sponsored children receive regular health checks, educational assistance and emotional support. Some orphans also receive vocational training and help with housing improvements, where possible.
Today, 20,000 children like Salam benefit from orphan sponsorship, but there are many more orphans waiting for a donor.
“While we can celebrate the success of the programme so far, these 20,000 orphans are a reminder of what needs to be done. Millions of children all over the world are dying from silent weapons of mass destruction – poverty, hunger and AIDS. We have to help because children are the future of humanity,” said Dr Hany El-Banna, President of Islamic Relief.You can sponsor an orphan today by visiting http://alyateem.com/.