Orphans & Widows

    Abu Darda Radiallahu ‘anhu narrates that a man came to the Messenger Salallahu ‘alaihi wasallam complaining about the harsh heart he possessed. Allah’s Messenger Salallahu ‘alaihi wasalaam said,

    Keep an orphan close to you, be kind to him, stroke his head and feed him from your food; for this will soften your heart and you will reach your goal.

    -  Sunan al-Baihaqi

    Drought or no drought, disaster or no disaster, many of our brothers and sisters always live in hardship and neglect. Widowed and orphaned families sadly fall into this category. Despite this, widows and orphans are granted a lofty status in Islam and command many rights over the ummah. It is why Ummah Welfare Trust, wherever it administers relief, makes a concerted effort to reach out to them.

    Amidst the relief operations taking place across Somalia by Ummah Welfare Trust, orphanages were targeted for the start 2012. Alhamdulillah in just February alone, food packages (which last up to 6 weeks) were distributed to the families of orphans from the following places.

        - Umm Salaama Orphanage, Baidoa
        - Markaz ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab Orphanage, Baidoa
        - Fathu Rahman Orphanage, Baidoa
        - Markaz Orphanage, Hamarweyne, Mogadishu
        - Al Birr Orphanage, Wadajir
        - As-Salaam Orphanage, Mogadishu
        - Orphans in Banadir Region

    Markaz ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab Orphanage, Baidoa

    Ummah Welfare Trust’s primary orphan project in Somalia, the orphanage has up to 250 children residing on its campus. Alhamdulillah, on 5th February, 230 families received a UWT food pack. It is worth noting that some orphans are brothers and sisters, hence family numbers are less than orphan numbers.

    Fath ur-Rahman Orphanage, Baidoa

    Fath ur-Rahman is close to Markaz ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab in Baidoa. The distribution for this orphanage therefore took place at the same time. Alhamdulillah here 141 orphaned families received food provisions.

    Umm Salaama Orphanage, Baidoa

    An orphanage for girls, Umm Salaama was established relatively recently in January 2006. It caters for 1040 students, though not all are orphans. During surveys, Ummah Welfare Trust learnt that the orphaned girls here came from particularly vulnerable families.  Alhamdulillah, Ummah Welfare Trust distributed to the families of 370 orphans here. The distribution took place in the afternoon and finished just before Maghrib salah alhamdulillah.

    Markaz Orphanage, Hamarweyne, Mogadishu

    On 8th February, a few days after the distributions in Baidoa, a small orphanage on the coast of Mogadishu was targeted. Here 55 orphaned families received food provisions.

    Al-Birr Orphanage, Wadajir

    Al Birr Orphanage was formed in 1992. Back then it catered for 50 orphans.  Today it caters for 530 orphans – an unsurprising increase given the unending war and poverty of the last 20 years.

    One of the larger orphanages, Al Birr had 320 boys and 210 girls and provided primary and secondary education. Alhamdulillah on 19th February, every single orphan here received a UWT food pack. On 23rd February (a Thursday), mothers and families, coming to the collect their children for the weekend, were amazed that there were large food packs waiting for them.

    The staff, who receive little remuneration, also received food provisions for their families.

    As-Salaam Orphanage, Mogadishu

    This boys’ orphanage was established in 1996 and caters for 150 orphans. On 21st February, food packs were given to every orphan’s family.  Similar to Al Birr orphanage, the staff here also received food packs.

    The Orphans of Banadir Region

    The number of orphans in Somalia is very high. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the region of Banadir and its capital Mogadishu.

    On 20th February, Ummah Welfare Trust started surveys in the southern Mogadishu, visiting schools, madrassahs, and masjids to gain more information about the orphans who attended.

    Following three days of surveys, covering 16 districts, Ummah Welfare Trust identified 380 orphaned families. Many of thm were IDPs, fleeing the recent escalation in violence. On 23rd February, the orphans’ mothers were invited to Banadir Primary School in Hodan to receive a UWT food pack.


    A total of 1856 orphaned families received UWT food packs in February. Alhamdulillah, the majority of the recipients in these distributions were widows. We therefore remember the hadith of Allah’s Messenger:

    The one who strives for the widows and poor is like the one who struggles in the way of Allah or the one who stands in the night prayer and fasts during the day.’  

    - Sahih al-Bukhari

    We ask Allah to grant khayr and barakah in all this aid and make these distributions a means of earning his pleasure. Ameen.