Blog, Mission Possible, Aug 2016. The Day I Dreaded. 17th August, 2016
Interviewing poverty-stricken villagers and having to choose who should receive livelihood aid that could change their lives and who to reject is a daunting prospect for Mission Possible volunteers on deployment in Tanzania. As Asim Siddiqui explains, it was a task he wasn't looking forward to.
Asim Siddiqui: Today was the day I was dreading the most; interviewing beneficiaries to decide who deserved aid the most. I won't go through the entire list but there were a couple of people who stood out to me.
One was Muhammad Musa (as mentioned in Navid’s blog) and the other standout case was Ayub Ramadani. Ayub lives alone with his wife – all his children had passed away – and is very elderly and in quite a fragile state. When I shook his hand, I could feel his bones quite distinctly.
He used to be a fisherman until one day he fell and landed on a rock which paralysed him on one side of his torso down to his thighs. We also soon found out that he couldn't walk either.
It began to dawn on me that this man probably sleeps outside his house and probably goes to the toilet in the same place too. It seemed a real shame that he would be seeing out the end of his life in such an undignified state.
The couple had no source of income. There were some chickens outside, however they could not afford to buy the maize to feed them.
We were there to interview him for a shop but he was very open and honest with us and said that he would not be able to run it and that his location was too remote. This was said before we found out the full extent of his health.
We were all moved by his honesty. Despite his health in such a bad state and being a vulnerable person, he passed on the offer of aid.
We all assembled into a circle to discuss next steps. We all unanimously agreed that it was not feasible to give him a shop but we felt we should do something else for him. Not only did he seem extremely vulnerable but he was also very deserving.
We went back and told him we would try and source some chickens for him but he said that goats would be better as there is plenty for them to graze on for free rather than having chickens he couldn't afford to feed. We asked that he prayed for us and we all opened the palms of our hands while he read darood sharif aloud.
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