Ummah Welfare Trust in Drought-Hit Sudan

    Ummah Welfare Trust's its delivering its biggest ever Ramadhan programme across Africa this year. Ummah Welfare Trust field worker, Muhammmad Ayub, is currently overseeing the Iftaar programme in Sudan, which has been ravaged this past year by droughts and conflict. Follow his account as he travels across the country this month.

    Distributing Iftaar Packs in Kassala
    Wednesday 15th June

    Alhamdulillah I have been here in the scorching heat of Kassala since Sunday looking at a number of the projects supported by Ummah Welfare Trust. The weather has eased a little, dropping down from 44 to about 40 degrees. There's also been a couple of dust storms and very light rain.

    It's not widely known but Sudan is a home to a large number of refugees from neighbouring Eriteria and Ethiopia. Many have been in the Kassala state since the mid 1970's.

    Though Sudan has been quite welcoming to refugees, resources are extremely limited and providing them all with the necessary support has been a major issue. Significant refugee movements in west and south Sudan recently have also diverted resources and the attention of the government and many NGOs.

    Alhamdulillah, Ummah Welfare Trust along with local partners have continued to provide food aid to families here, especially during this month of Ramadhan.

    Today we oversaw a distribution in a refugee camp that was established 40 years ago. It's a sprawling mix of mud huts, brick houses and fenced neighbourhoods. The most vulnerable in these camps are the orphans, widows, the old and disabled. Alhamdulillah Ummah Welfare Trust has targeted these groups for its Ramadhan distribution today.

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    Dar Al Tahfeez Madrassah
    Sunday 11th June

    So this morning I set off in the early hours to catch an internal flight from Khartoum to Port Sudan, the second largest city in Sudan and around 600km from the capital. After an hours flight on a rickety plane we landed on the Red Sea coast. Just on the other side of this body of water, 297km East, is the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.

    Today has all been about the support that very poor students and madrassahs need in this part of country. MashaAllah with your generous donations, Ummah Welfare Trust provides 3 full meals every day to all the Hifdh students at the Dar Al Tahfeez madrassah in Port Sudan.

    The centre has been established since 1976 with hundreds of huffadh graduating from here over the decades. Extreme poverty in this part of the country means parents are unable to afford the tuition fees, so all of the teachers act as volunteers. Alhamdulillah, alongside classes to memorise the Qur'an, students also study the full national curriculum. I met a number of students who had over years graduated from the Dar Al Tahfeez and gone on to university and are now professionals working locally.

    The facilities at the centre are reflective of the extreme poverty found here. Students sit on the floor, the living spaces are tight and the metal roofing is far from ideal for the hot weather. Unfortunately there isn't much space for any additional intake. There are two major positives however, the food provided is plenty and nutritious, and the level of teaching and commitment to providing an Islamic and Qur'anic education is outstanding.

    InshaAllah, with your help, Ummah Welfare Trust aims to make life much easier for the huffadh of the future here.

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    Arriving in Sudan
    Friday 9th June

    I'm in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, overseeing Ummah Welfare Trust's projects in this impoverished and vast country. Alhamdulillah Ummah Welfare Trust is on the ground working with some of the many refugees present here.

    Today we've arranged the distribution of emergency food parcels for many families left displaced due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. In coordination with UNHCR reps and national government coordinators, we identified desperate families residing in refugee camps in the White Nile region of Sudan. Our food convoy, when it reaches its destination will distribute food supplies to 1,200 families, feeding around 6,000 plus people for the blessed month of Ramadhan.

    With the grace of Allah, the six-truck convoy set off in the searing Sudanese sun, where today's temperature is in the mid-forties degrees Celsius. InshaAllah it will still take the best part of a day for to reach the camps in the north. InshaAllah I will keep you updated with my visit over the 10 days.

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