Islamic Help always strives to provide aid to volatile regions of the world. We put a key emphasis on providing aid that is not only sufficient and useful, but also long lasting. Having said that, Islamic Help undertakes projects aside from relief aid, in an effort to deliver life-changing solutions to already struggling communities.
Sustainable development is of paramount importance in developing countries today. While providing communities with short-term food aid and other emergency supplies in times of need is a civic and moral duty, ensuring that they become self-sufficient enough to support themselves, in the long run, goes even further.
That is why Islamic Help is making sustainable development projects a priority in 2015. We want to ensure that we help people in more ways than one, especially women who have families to provide for. We accomplish this through economic and social development programmes. The benefits of these projects are long lasting, which we will discuss below.
Empowering Women to Change their Lives
Many women in poorer communities around the world are not only responsible for looking after their homes and children, but are also breadwinners. Poverty often means they have no choice but to work. In many cases, children miss out on education as they too are forced to work, as families struggle to survive. Sustainable development programmes are instrumental in helping to break that cycle of poverty, and in providing opportunities to improve the quality of life.
They empower women and provide them with the tools and the training they need to change their lives without having to rely on anyone. This gives them the option of choosing how they wish to support their families. Most of these women are single mothers, widows and the elderly.
These programmes are a welcome change to their lives because they provide a solution to end their constant struggle. It sets them up in the workforce and empowers them to think beyond dependency, to do more for their children, and to retain their dignity and respect.
An additional positive effect of this is that they inspire other fellow citizens to want to do the same. In return, this creates a chain reaction towards improvement.
Programmes like the Bee-Keeping project in Tanzania are a good example of successful Islamic Help campaigns that are helping women to become self-reliant. Through support from our micro-finance programmes and grants, some have set up their own stores and restaurants while others have formed co-operatives to serve their local markets and communities. It’s hard, no doubt, but it isn’t impossible, and it can help them get back on their feet over time.
The Need of the Hour
Empowering women is the need of the hour in most regions. For many developing countries, it is a well-known fact that they cannot reach economic prosperity unless the women stand alongside the men. Aid agencies around the world are making a conscious effort to encourage and enable women to contribute actively towards rebuilding or strengthening their communities. Islamic Help will continue to work on programmes like the Bee-Keeping project in an attempt to provide more opportunities for entire communities to become self-sufficient.