No hesitation to take them in
When Rawda, 10, and Farah, 12, became orphaned in the conflict in Gaza, their grandmother did not hesitate to take them in.
Like most grandparents, she enjoys spending time with them, and seeing them grow, but she wishes she could do more for them.
Um Alaa manages to make ends meet through wages brought home from her husband, who works as a hospital technician, and through support from Islamic Relief, which sponsors the girls.
“We registered the girls with Islamic Relief, and they have continued to remember us,” she said. “For many years now, we haven’t needed to go and ask for help. Islamic Relief comes to us and says ‘here is your portion of meat’ for example. We don’t have to ask, and this is important for the dignity of the two girls.
“I thank Islamic Relief donors for their support. Their kindness keeps my girls smiling, and gives them hope even after the loss of their father.”
The family manages to put aside money to eat meat at least once a month, and sometimes they are able to have it once a week. They buy frozen meat because it is cheaper than fresh meat. Qurbani food packs are the only time the family eats fresh meat.
“It’s hard for the girls to watch other boys and girls enjoying Eid with their parents,” said Um Alaa. “Their father was killed two years ago. We still celebrate Eid though and we look forward to having fresh meat from Islamic Relief as it tastes better. We like it when Islamic Relief staff come and interact with the girls as well.”
The money given in orphan sponsorship pays for the girls’ stationery, school uniforms and sometimes extra clothing.
“They go to government schools and are hopeful that they will rise up and be successful in their lives,” Um Alaa added.