Relief in the Philippines

    The Philippines is one of the poorest countries in the world with over 90 million people with a per capita income of less than 100 pesos daily. It is estimated that 30% of the population live under extreme poverty line with children, widows and orphans as the most vulnerable.

    Seven of the Companions appointed az-Zubayr Radiallahu 'anhu to be the guardian of their children after they died, including 'Uthman, Ibn Mas'ood and 'Abdurrahman Radiallahu 'anhum. He would spend on the heirs from his own wealth and protect their wealth.

    at-Tareekh al-Islami, 17/131

    Alhamdulillah Ummah Welfare Trust has been working in the Zamboangan peninsula of the country for two and a half years now. Along with the seasonal Islamic projects, some of the following has been administered:

    Orphan Sponsorship

    In the town of San Roque, the capital of Zamboanga, 50 orphans are being sponsored by Ummah Welfare Trust. Their widowed mothers struggle to earn and thus struggle to feed and educate the children. Many of these families live as minorities in Christian communities and face pressure from missionaries and proselytising NGOs.

    Alhamdulillah this project is making a difference. Many of these children were previously attending Christian schools. Compelled to recite Christian prayers at assemblies, their imaan was at stake. Following payments however, orphaned families can now afford to send their children to appropriate schools and receive an Islamic education.

    House Construction

    Ummah Welfare Trust helps constructs homes for rurally-based widowed and orphaned families. Alhamdulillah, 20 houses have been constructed so far this year - the majority of the recipients being widows.

    In one case, fieldworkers came across an orphaned family that was living in a Christian cemetery. Ummah Welfare Trust purchased some land upon which a home was built for them.

    Hand Pumps

    Around San Roque poor slum dwellers drink and bathe in the dirty rivers. Young children are easily struck down with water borne disease and many lose their lives.

    Ummah Welfare Trust has been installing hand pumps in different villages for the past two years. In 2011, 60 hand pumps were installed. For 2012, a further 55 will be installed across remote Muslim communities.

    Since no deep boring is required, these pumps are relatively cheap, easy to install and maintain. Maintenance is done at the village level without the need for specialist parts. Water is pumped from around 7m below the ground.

    Income Generating Project

    The Muslim communities have been overlooked by the provincial government of Zamboanga. Muslims, in the minority, are refused positions in the local government and have no influence in much of the decision-making. Receiving no support, they are forced to finance all their own initiatives such as schools, health care, etc.

    Ummah Welfare Trust tries to foster self-sufficiency and break a community's reliance on hand outs by administering income-generation schemes. Alhamdulillah 109 heads of households have received new rickshaws (Tri-Sikats). Widows have also received help - several kiosks around Zamboanga have been set-up for widows alhamdulillah.

    Ummah Welfare Trust ask Allah to keep it steadfast in its endeavours to help the Ummah in the Philippines. Ameen.