What are your fondest memories at the beach as a child?
Living on a tropical island, it’s hard to imagine life without the sun, sand and the sea. But orphaned children who have experienced the trauma of losing a parent have no such luxury of imagining such a carefree day.
When your world is ripped apart by the death of a parent – and a sole breadwinner at that – the essence of childhood is also stripped away. Suddenly, you don’t know where your next meal is coming from and going to school is just a faraway dream.
In May, when I went to Aceh, Indonesia for the first time, I was blown away by the warmth and hospitality of the people. We visited Aceh for a Community Involvement Program as staff members of Global Ehsan Relief and for many of us, it was our first time travelling abroad since the beginning of the pandemic. We were there for a total of seven days, and it was to be filled with activities and distributions to the poor families living in rural areas. But nothing prepared me for the last day of the trip, which was when we organized our Annual Orphan Picnic, filled with games, laughter, food and treats for the orphaned children living in Banda Aceh.
We met close to 100 orphans and their widowed mothers who were being sponsored under our Orphan Sponsorship Program – a program that, to me, had drawn smiles and erased lines of worry from their faces.
Some of the orphans who were present for the picnic were under the unique Hifz Orphan Sponsorship Program, which lasts 3 to 6 years. The program ensures that these orphans are given a holistic education, which includes reading, learning, and memorizing the Holy Qur’an.
To witness their progress first-hand, we were treated to a live recitation by a few of the young ones. At such a tender age, many of them had were confident in their abilities, and it warmed my heart to listen to them and watch the pride on their mothers’ faces. Two of the children who recited some verses were under the care of Mdm Dora Imelda, who took in her late brother’s two orphaned children, on top of caring for four of her own. Without the sponsorships, she would not be able to cope with living expenses and feeding 6 young children under one roof, and only one source of income – her husband, as she is unable to work.
Through the orphan sponsorship program, these mothers were able to watch their children go to school, have three square meals a day, all with enough to spare for various household expenditures that they would otherwise go without, like new clothing and groceries for the home.
Your blessings will impact a child and their family for years to come. Begin your Sadaqah Jariyah by sponsoring an orphan’s education from just $80 today in Indonesia, Gaza and Sri Lanka.