Monday March 15, 2021

Ten years since the outbreak of conflict in Syria, millions of people are struggling to survive.

A staggering six million people have been displaced from their homes and the cost of basic items has increased 20 times since the outbreak of war.

With many people losing their lives, grandparents have found themselves becoming the sole carers for their orphaned grandchildren. This is a reality that Abu Ziyad knows all too well.

Having lost his son when his village was bombed, he’s now caring for his orphaned grandchildren alone.

Abu Ziyad from Syria.

The family, since fleeing their home, have been forced to flee again and again as community after community have come under attack.

It has been particularly distressing for Abu Ziyad’s grandchildren, who have witnessed so many horrors.

What’s more, after losing his home and community, Abu Ziyad has also lost his livelihood.


Islamic Relief: Helping Aby Ziyad to become self-reliant again

Abu Ziyad with his grandchildren.

Before the conflict, Abu Ziyad was a sheep farmer. However, he lost his herd during the airstrikes and with it, his livelihood.

And that’s where we stepped in.

Ten years on from the start of the crisis in Syria, Islamic Relief has been helping thousands of families like Abu Ziyad’s who’ve been uprooted from their homes to once again earn a living.

We provided the grandfather with pregnant ewes to produce milk to be sold at market. Abu Ziyad now provides expert care for the sheep.

We wake up early every morning to feed the sheep. We then milk them and take them out of the barn before washing them. We give them food at noon, and in the evenings we check them for signs of infection or illness.

Soon after they were given to Abu Ziyad, the sheep gave birth to several lambs, which means he will be able to earn more money by selling them for meat. Abu Ziyad worked hard to milk the ewes, which meant he could produce cheese and milk to be sold for a profit.

This gives him enough income to buy food to support his young family. In addition to this, the sheep provide enough milk for Abu Ziyad and his family to enjoy fresh and nutritious dairy products every day:

When we first arrived, we had to rely on the food that other people gave us. We used to drink milk once a week, but now, thanks to God Almighty, we can make our own milk and cheese and buy other food, such as bread and vegetables.

Thanks to this project, my grandchildren now drink milk every morning.

Alhamdulillah, this project has boosted the income of almost 2,000 families in northern Syria. These families have received livestock, fodder, vaccines, wheat seeds and fertiliser to get them started.

Islamic Relief also formed local committees, providing members with farming training and advice on the local market to empower people to sell their produce for a profit. In addition, our veterinary specialists and agricultural engineers provided practical advice.

This project has had a particularly strong impact by easing the hardship of families facing the Coronavirus pandemic, which has put immense strain on livelihoods. Throughout the region, breadwinners are forced to choose whether to go out to work and risk exposure to the virus, or stay at home and their children go hungry.

Families, particularly those with widows and orphans, now have the opportunity to earn an income from work that can be carried out alone, or with easily manageable social distancing.

Your support will mean the world to families like Abu Ziyad’s. It will enable us to continue to support families to build a reliable source of income upon which they can depend.

As Abu Ziyad says: “We hope you will continue this project as it has had such a positive impact on the poor families who have suffered through this crisis.”

Thank you for helping us to save lives. Please help us continue to be a lifeline for those still suffering.

Donate to our Syria appeal and help save lives.

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