UWT in Somalia

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    7 December 2011
    Going Home

    Many families who come to Mogadishu as refugees intend to stay temporarily and then go home. Sadly however a culture of NGO-dependency in the city means very few actually do so. This year the problem became particularly acute given the prolonged drought in the rural areas.

    Another complication NGOs contend with is that most, if not all, of the land in Mogadishu is privatised. Refugees are therefore always at risk of being evicted if they do not adhere to a landlord’s rules. This is a common occurrence and many camps have a considerable turnover rate. Though families get evicted from different camps, many refuse to go back to their rurally-based homes, so accustomed they become to surviving on hand outs.

    On 5th December, 78 families from Garsoor camp were evicted to make way for the landlord’s garage. They were forced to pack up their tents and take all their possessions without a moment’s notice. The majority were women and children and had been recipients of UWT tents, food packages, kitchen utensils and clothing.

    Upon hearing about their situation, the UWT team took surveys and interviews to assess the needs of the families. All of them were from the district of Lower Shabelle and specifically around the towns of Goryooley and Warmahey. We learnt that these familes had become tired of the harsh life in Mogadishu where more and more families are now competing for fewer and fewer handouts. The abundant rains in Lower Shabelle also meant that many families – who were farmers by trade – started to yearn for home.

    After confirming that many families acutally did wanted to go home, UWT arranged for three trucks on the 6th to collect them and their possessions and take them home.

    The journey for these families took a few hours. Every individual (in total there was around 130) was provided with a food pack containing cooked rice, meat and vegetables and some fruit. This would suffice them for their journey inshallah.

    Alhamdulillah the trucks arrived in Lower Shabelle late afternoon. These families went back to their lives, to earn for themselves and to live with dignity and self-respect bi ithnillahi ta’ala.

    30 November 2011
    Cooked Food in Banadir Hospital

    Alhamdulillah four days ago on the 26th, UWT’s cooked food programme in Banadir Hospital started. Mogadishu’s largest hospital, Banadir specialises in maternity and child health. Alhamdulillah, prior to this programme, UWT had already administered a significant amount of work here, including: providing much-needed insulin supplies, distributing food rations for the sick and disabled and handing out clothes and gifts to all the child patients.

    Now each day all 500 patients at Banadir – the majority of whom are women and children – receive freshly cooked rice, meat, and vegetables and some fruit. Due to poor logistics at the hospital, UWT fully constructed its own kitchen and employed its own staff. UWT can now ensure that all 500 patients received their meals every day and help them in their rehabilitation.

    Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, ‘O people! Spread salaam, feed the hungry, be in touch with your kin, and pray while people are asleep (at night) you shall enter paradise peacefully.’   (Tirmidhi)

    UWT have cooked food programmes in two of Mogadishu’s main hospitals, Banadir and Madina. Warm cooked food is a big blessing in times of difficulty and so we ask Allah that these programmes be a means of comfort and relief for these poor, sick and injured Muslims inshallah.


     

    24 November 2011
    Food, Clothing & Water

    Hadrat Abu Sa‘ad Radiallahu ‘anh reported Allah's Messenger Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam as saying, “If any Muslim clothes a Muslim when he is naked, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will clothe him with some of the green garments of Paradise; if any Muslim feeds a Muslim when he is hungry, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will feed him with some of the fruits of Paradise; and if any Muslim gives a Muslim something to drink when he is thirsty, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will give him (in Paradise) some of the pure sealed wine to drink.” (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi)

    Every action we do that can bring comfort to, or remove harm from, a believer will be a means of increasing our status in the akhirah inshallah. The difficulties and trials Muslims face today, especially in Somalia, are sadly many but amidst this all is the increased opportunity to earn Allah’s pleasure and thus great reward.

    Alhamdulillah today, with the taufiq granted by Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, the UWT team managed to provide clean water, new clothes, and food rations to hundreds of poor families across Mogadishu.

    A new set for families in Goolweyne

    In Goolweyne camp, 200 refugee families each received a 40 kg food package, a 45 piece kitchen set and a set of children clothes. Subhanallah during the distribution, strong rains soaked southern Mogadishu. The recipients however remained seated, unmoved and – given that they were from the dry central and southern regions- no doubt grateful for this decree from Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala.

    New Clothes for Children in Banadir Hospital

    At this time of year, child deaths in Somalia increase greatly because of diarrhoea. Thousands of children are now being admitted to hospitals around Mogadishu because of it. In the past few months, the number of children dying each day in Banadir hospital alone reached as much as 13 per day.

    Today UWT went to visit some of the young victims. Many of them and their families are poor, coming from the outskirts of the city and beyond in order to seek medical help. Many of the sick children are also orphans - sadly so common for many Somali children in today’s times. UWT therefore decided to provide the children being treated with new clothes, so they have something new to wear when they recover bi ‘ithnillah ta’ala.

    Alhamdulillah every child in the paediatrics ward received new garments. We ask Allah that He give these beautiful children a swift recovery and make them pillars for his deen inshallah.

    Clean Water in Mogadishu

    Problems such diarrhoea can be tackled by increasing access to clean water. Alhamdulillah since the advent of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia this year, UWT has trucked clean water daily to needy families living in rural areas. In Bay and Bakol around 1000 families would benefit each day, as the UWT water tanker – carrying 40,000 litres of water at any one time- made its way across the rural areas of Somalia.

    Alhamdulillah the rains have now arrived in Bay and Bakol, limiting the need for UWT’s tankers in those areas. However due to the influx of refugees into the cities, especially Mogadishu, the demand for clean water is still great. Local surveys suggest that as much as 80% of refugees in Mogadishu are experiencing widespread shortages of water and are forced to pay exorbitant prices to buy it. UWT has therefore brought a water tanker to Mogadishu to help tackle the issue.

    Alhamdulillah today after Dhuhr salah, a UWT water tanker travelled to the refugee camps that hug the sides of Mogadishu’s main road. Upon arrival, hundreds of families came out, ready to fill their jerry cans, buckets, cups and any other vessels that they had.

    The truck itself mashallah is large and has two storage tankers- the first tank holds 15,000 litres of water and the second tank holds 25,000 litres. From each tank are two hosepipes that release water once the taps are opened. Alhamdulillah the hosepipes were busy from early afternoon until well after sunset.

    In just one day thousands benefitted from the provision of clean water. Inshallah the tanker will be visiting different refugee camps around Mogadishu every day. As word spreads around the camps, UWT hope to help a thousands more in Mogadishu each day inshallah.

    Immersed in our comfort, we in the UK sadly have no qadr for the abundance of water that we have and the ease with which we receive it. Subhanallah looking at the refugee families vying – and almost fighting - with each other just to acquire a few litres of water made us realise how little shukr we do to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala.

    We ask Allah to prevent our comforts and luxuries from making us blind to the realities of this world and the akhirah inshallah. Ameen.

    22 November 2011
    Cooking for the Wounded

    Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, ‘O people! spread salaam, feed the hungry, be in touch with your kin, and pray while people are asleep (at night) you shall enter paradise peacefully.’   (Tirmidhi)

    Alhamdulillah a few days ago, UWT’s cooked food programme for patients in Madina Hospital started. Each day, all the patients (along with their attendee) receive freshly cooked rice, meat and vegetables and some fruit.

    Alhamdulillah around 360 receive freshly cooked food every day. For the patients this especially is welcomed. The patients, like in most hospitals in Mogadishu sadly, do not receive regular food – food that is crucial for their rehabilitation. This problem becomes particularly acute in Madina Hospital which specialises in treating patients wounded from gunfire or explosions.

    Many patients in Madina Hospital have come from rural areas, thus already being poor and in need of aid. Alhamdulillah, a daily supply of food for these families will remove the added of worry of trying to feed themselves when tending to their sick.

    Case Study:

    Dahir Muhidin Hasan

     

    Young Dahir is 14 and originally from Banadir. He was injured in a bomb blast two months ago and has been in Madina Hospital since. His father is old and his mother does not work.

    Acquiring food in Madina has therefore been very difficult for the family. Alhamdulillah UWT will now provide Dahir and his parents cooked food regularly till he is fully rehabilitated inshallah.
     






    21 November 2011
    A new start for families in Bil Khair

    Bil Khair camp is sub-camp of the large Gargar refugee camp that UWT has been working in for the past few weeks. Following yesterday’s visit, the team learnt that a new influx of refugees had arrived - not solely due to the drought however, but due to the intensifying of the fighting on the outskirts of Mogadishu.

    One hundred and forty families had been identified yesterday as being in urgent need of help. The aim today was to provide these needy families with the full UWT package – a package consisting of a new tent, food supplies for a month, a 45-piece kitchen set and clothes and gifts for the children. 

    Alhamdulillah, starting early, the families removed their makeshift homes to make way for the new tents. UWT tents are double layered. The air passes between the two layers, keeping families cool in the day and warm at night. Alhamdulillah, the tents are also completely waterproof - crucial given the rainy season at the moment.

    While the tents were being assembled, families were invited to the distribution area to collect all their new belongings. Alhamdulillah thanks to the generosity of UWT’s donors, the hand outs were considerable and recipients were told to bring an extra two family members with them to carry the goods to their new tent.

    Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, ‘Truly the faithful are to one another like components of a building - each part supports the other.’  -  Bukhari & Muslim

     

    20 November 2011
    Disabled & Poor

    Assessments took place today around camps to see who was in need of emergency relief. The team travelled to Oodweyne, a small camp based in southern Mogadishu close to the coast, and to Bil Khair camp, a sub-camp in Gargar camp. Here some light is shed on many of the difficulties poor Muslims are facing:

    Case Study: Mohammad Abdullahi Khalis

    Despite looking barely 12 years of age, Mohammad was a 23 year old severely disabled man who grew up as an orphan. His severe condition developed at 3 years of age when water started to amass on his brain.

    He and his family were IDPs from Ellasha in Northern Mogadishu and had recently arrived in Oodweyne due to the intensifying of the fighting. His family had no permanent food source and would go to different distributions to collect what they could.

    Case Study: Ibrahim Adan Ishaq

    Ibrahim, a 5 year old, came with his mother and siblings from Baidoa to Oodweyne due to the lack of relief supplies reaching their area. Ibrahim has an acute skin infection which had developed when he was 3 months old. His father, a farmer, was still in Baidoa trying to salvage his livelihood with the arrival of the rains.

    Ibrahim’s mother stated that they do not receive food every day and asked Muslims in the UK to do what they could to help her family and those like it.

    Case Study: Mohammad Hassan

    Mohammad is an old man with six children. He and his family just arrived from Ellasha due to fighting taking place there. He lost his left leg when he was young due to polio and more recently lost his left eye due to an infection.

    Like all the newly arrived families from Ellasha, Mohammad and his family do not receive food regularly and live in a makeshift dwelling that provides barely any shelter against the rains that now cover Mogadishu.

    18 November 2011
    Distributing Kitchen Sets in Baidoa

    In Bay, they are many families who are internally displaced but decided not to move far in search of aid. These families are very self-reliant and always had the intention to move back home once the rains arrived. Due to not travelling to the popular areas where relief is given out (e.g. Mogadishu, Dadaab), they had been neglected in the on-going relief efforts taking place in Somalia.

    UWT distributed 787 kitchen sets to poor families in Baidoa and the surrounding areas. Spread over three days, the distribution covered three areas: Idalle, Ufurow and Qansadhere.

    Idalle Distribution

    Most families here are formerly displaced persons who have returned from Baidoa and Al Yasir refugee camps.

    UWT targeted four villages, distributing kitchen sets to 45 families in Idale village, to 125 families in Roobay village, 93 families in Dhargo and to 87 families in Makoon.

    Distribution in Ufurow

    Ufurow is a very poor district in Bay. Alhamdulillah Ummah Welfare Trust target many villages in the district. 211 of the most vulnerable families in these villages received a kitchen set

    Distribution in Qansahdere

    Many families in this district had recently returned from Doolow refugee camp on the border between Somalia and Ethiopia. They had travelled to and from that camp with few belongings and many families literally had nothing in their possession. UWT was told that around 90% of the families relied on local or international handouts such was the severity of the situation in these areas.

    Ummah Welfare Trust distributed kitchen sets to 226 of the poorest families in three villages in Qansahdere district.

    16 November 2011
    Third Plane Lands

    In the past month two cargo planes carrying emergency relief had arrived in Somalia to help thousands of families suffering because of displacement and hunger.

    Following the successful distribution of goods contained in these planes, a third plane has arrived today hoping to bring similar relief to thousands more families in need of help. Landing at 7:00am in the morning, UWT trucks were stationed ready to take the goods to the office.

    The plane also contained lots of rice to aid UWT’s cooked food programme in hospitals around Mogadishu. There were also more tents and kitchen utensil sets which will inshallah be provided to newly displaced families in Mogadishu.

    We ask everyone to make du’a that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala makes the path smooth for UWT in its endeavours to help the poor Muslims of Somalia.

     

    07 November 2011
    Eid ul-Adha - Second Day of Qurbani

    Alhamdulillah following on from yesterday, a further 300 goats were to be sacrificed and distributed today. Inshallah another 1,200 families would benefit once again.

    Mashallah the team of butchers worked even quicker than yesterday. All the animals had been sacrificed and the meat prepared by 10:00am. Families had been told to arrive in the morning and by Dhuhr Salah the distribution of all the meat had been completed, alhamdulillah.

    Alhamdulillah, well over 2,500 goats have been sacrificed across Somalia in the past two days thanks to the generosity of UWT’s donors.

    Following the end of these two days, we ask Allah to accept the sacrificing of these animals on behalf of all of UWT’s donors. As He says in the Glorious Qur’an:

    ‘It is neither the meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him. Thus have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to the Muhsinun (doers of good).’ (22:37)

     

    06 November 2011
    Eid ul-Adha - Following the Sunnah of Ibrahim (AS)

    Alhamdulillah thanks to your donations, 2,700 goats will be sacrificed across Somalia this Eid. In Mogadishu alone, 600 goats will be sacrificed for displaced families from Lower Shabelle, Bay and Bakol. Each goat provides enough meat for four families, so inshallah this Qurbani project will provide meat to over 10,000 families this Eid, benefitting around 100,000 Muslims inshallah.

    The surveying process to identify the neediest families for ‘Udhiyah’ meat took all week. In Mogadishu alone, over 2000 cards were distributed to displaced families in the many refugee camps blanketing the city. UWT takes particular care in ensuring your donations reaches the most deserving. The charity is therefore very meticulous in its surveying and methods of distribution. Following surveys and interviews, handouts are delivered to each poor recipient by hand and not through an intermediary, like a camp chairman for example. This method inshallah minimizes any exposure to corruption.

    The UWT team was in Mogadishu today to witness the sacrificing and distribution of the first 300 goats. Since 600 goats would mean distributing to 2,400 families, we decided after mashwara to complete the Qurbani over two days rather than one. Inshallah 1,200 families would benefit each day.

    The butchers started work straight after Eid salah – sacrificing, skinning, gutting, and portioning the meat of 300 goats. They worked on till Dhuhr salah, after which distributions commenced.

    Subhanallah by afternoon, countless men, women and children had assembled to collect the blessed meat on this day of Eid. The crowds were huge; looking at them, we did shukr to Allah Subhanahuwata’ala that He gave us the taufiq to follow the sunnah of Ibrahim ‘alaihi salaam and in doing so, to help so many poor Muslims.

    Alhamdulillah Allah made the day long and by Maghrib salah all 1,200 families received their freshly sacrificed meat.  We ask Allah, in His infinite Mercy, to accept the generosity of UWT’s donors who have never met the poor Muslims of Somalia and yet through seeking Allah’s pleasure have done so much to help them.

    Finally we say, Eid Mubarak to all UWT’s donors from Somalia.

     

    29 October 2011
    Kidz 4 Kidz

    Currently school children from across the UK are fundraising for poor children in Somalia and Pakistan. As some donations have already come in following the hard work of many children, we decided today to distribute gifts to 600 children in Gargar camp. Most of these children were from the drought afflicted regions of Bay, Shabelle and Bakol. They had suffered greatly over the past few months. They were forced to migrate hundreds of miles in search of help, they regularly went to sleep hungry and they were slept at night with little shelter above them. But today, thanks to children of the UK, big smiles were brought to their faces - to over 600 of them.

    Once all the children were seated, one child stood up to recite the Qur’an. After this a girl recited a nasheed about the joys of Eid. Then the distribution commenced. These two hours were the happiest two hours many of us had experienced. All the poor children, including many orphans, lined up to receive their gift; all the while the mothers watched on from the back, happy and amazed that strangers from far away had remembered their children in their hardship.

    Today showed the beauty of Islam. These children were our children, their sorrows were our sorrows and today, their smiles were our smiles.

    Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, ‘Indeed from amongst the things that make forgiveness necessary is that you create happiness for a Muslim.’ - Tabarani

     

     

    26 October 2011
    Saving Their Iman

    Alhamdulillah, due to Ummah Welfare Trust’s donors in the UK, 250 orphans (boys and girls) are sponsored at Markaz Umar Ibn Al Khattab Orphanage in Baidoa, central Somalia. Today was a special occasion for the UWT team as we met some of these orphans of Islam. Mashallah it brought great joy to the heart to spend time with them. They recited the Qur’an to us, sung nasheeds and joked and laughed. Subhanallah, despite the undoubted hardships they had faced at such tender ages, Allah had kept them innocent and preserved their fitrah.

    One moment was particularly memorable. Shaykh Adam started quoting a hadith and one of the children quickly interrupted and finished it off. So we then started to see how much hadith they knew and they all knew, at just 10 or 11 years of age, at least 40 ahadith – the full riwayah of each mashallah. Allah preserve the Islam of all the orphans of the world like this inshallah. The sponsors of these orphans in the UK will no doubt get much Sadaqah Jariyah inshallah. Every ayah these children recite, every line of ahadith they learn, every good action they do – all of this will be seen on the donors scales on Yaum Ul Qiyamah inshallah.

    Allah’s Messenger Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, ‘I and the person who looks after an orphan will be together in Janna h like this.’ (He then raised the index and middle finger)   - Bukhari
    We ask UWT’s donors to continue sponsoring orphans inshallah and continue showing mercy to the weak amongst the Ummah. And when a time comes when we are weak and in need of help, Allah’s mercy will surely rain down upon us inshallah.

     

    25 October 2011
    Distributing to the Forgotton

    Families of disabled patients that we met yesterday were invited to UWT’s office today. 135 UWT packs were set up in the distribution centre for the families, or the patients themselves if they were able, to collect and take home.

     

    When we opened the gates in the morning, men, women and children of differing strengths and illnesses made their way into the compound. Some were walking, other limped and some even crawled to their place in the distribution. Never in one place have we seen people who varied so much in their afflictions come together.

    Ummah Welfare Trust makes it a priority to target the most vulnerable, the most marginalised and therefore the most deserving people with your money. Read about some of the honourable Muslims who received help today thanks to your generosity:

    Case Study 1: Muallim Ibrahim Adan Muhammad

    Despite being blind, Muallim – a Hafidh of the Qur’an – teaches the Qur’an to young boys and girls in a Madrassah in Mogadishu. He lost his sight 7 years ago due to acute epilepsy.  Subhanallah, he was a very inspiring person. When he spoke he always praised Allah and he said that he had no regrets about what Allah had decreed for him.
    When all the food packs had been given out, Muallim stood up to make du’a on behalf of all of the recipients.

    Case Study 2: Abdi Hassan Ilmi

    Abdi is 38 and has three children. He lost his right leg in Mogadishu when a stray mortar landed near him. As an amputee he faced much difficulty trying to earn for his family. The generosity of his parents and relatives fortunately saved his family from prolonged hunger. However, recent times have been very difficult. Droughts and endemic poverty means Abdi has to compete for fewer handouts amongst more and more victims.
    Alhamdulillah he was very grateful to UWT donors for the food package he received and thanked them greatly for their kindness.

    Case Study 3: Ismail Abdi Kareem

    Young Ismail was just 3 when an accident damaged his spine. At this tender age, he lost complete use of his legs. Several days ago his mother brought him and the other children to Mogadishu to seek medical treatment and escape the desperate poverty of the countryside. Ismail’s father remained in the rural areas hoping for some return from the rainy season.
    Alhamdulillah, Ismail’s mother, who never knew where her next meal would come from, was very grateful for kindness of UWT’s donors.

    Case Study 4: Rupley Abdi Bari

    Rupley arrived at Banadir hospital with her father during Ramadhan. Originally from Bay, the family moved to Mogadishu due to being squeezed by the drought. Rupley was born without the use of one eye. As she grew older, the other eye slowly deteriorated until it also could not function. For the past 4 years now, Rupley has been permanently blind. Continuous operations on her eyes have also impacted her mental capacity. Rupley’s father, Abdi Bari, has three other children and has struggled to feed them regularly since the family’s arrival in Mogadishu around 3 months ago. Inshallah today’s UWT food package will relieve Abdi Bari of some of this pressure.

    Like our recipients today, we ask everyone in the UK to keep making du’a that Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala makes it easy for poor Muslims across the world and that He uses us in the UK as the means to make it easy for them inshallah.

     

    24 October 2011
    Surveying Disabled Patients

    Following on from yesterday’s food distribution to poor patients in Banadir, the team went back to the hospital once again. This time however, we surveyed the hospital for disabled patients. Disabled people are some of the most marginalized people in the developing world; they are often unseen and unheard.

    When the news spread that we were targeting disabled people, many patients forced themselves off their beds in order to meet us. We thought after having visited the hospital a few times now we would be accustomed to the people’s suffering. In reality, you can never prepare yourself for what you see each day.

    One hundred and thirty five patients received a UWT food card. Understanding that the patients themselves will not be able to collect the packages, the family of each patient was invited to the UWT distribution centre tomorrow for collection inshallah.

     

    24 October 2011
    Opening the Hospital Doors

    Alhamdulillah today was the day of our food distribution to patients in Banadir Hospital. We had just received an extra incentive as we had just learnt that many patients and families actually live on the hospital grounds because they have no homes to go back to.
    In front of the hospital, food was distributed one ward at a time. Starting after Dhuhr Salah, all the food packs were distributed by ‘Asr time. By the end of the day, 200 of the hospital’s poorest patients had received a UWT food package. The packs are big and the porters were kept busy all day mashallah.

    Alhamdulillah, thanks to the generosity of our donors, some of the most vulnerable and forgotten about people in this crisis received help today. Like this, we ask Allah to renew and strengthen ties between the rich and poor across the Ummah inshallah.

    Case Study: Abu Bakr Hassan Hirsi

    Eighteen year-old Abu Bakr has a terrible skin condition that doctors have failed to diagnose. His bones are so weak that he struggles to stand up for a sustained period of time. With no family by his side, he spends most of his day lying on a dishevelled mattress in his overcrowded ward.

    UWT also set up some tents in the hospital grounds. Since waiting lists are so long, many patients are forced to sit outside in the hot sun for days. UWT therefore set up some large tents to give patients some shade from the sun and protection from the rains.

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