Italy: Supporting Struggling Immigrants

Islamic Relief distributed 463 food vouchers across Italy, aiming to reach around 2,000 vulnerable people in the provinces of Milan, Brescia, Trieste and Rome.

In Ramadan 2023, Islamic Relief supported families with vulnerable economic situations around the world. In Italy, Islamic Relief distributed 463 food vouchers across the country aiming to reach around 2,000 vulnerable people in the provinces of Milan, Brescia, Trieste and Rome.

Two of the recipients were the families of Habiba and Rabiaa. Both Habiba and Rabiaa struggle to support their children and dependants with their meagre incomes. They also care for family members with permanent health conditions.

Habiba’s Story

Habiba (45) lives in Monza, Italy. She struggles to provide for her three children as a single parent.  

“I do the chores in some houses and structures such as gyms. This is my source of income and this is how I provide for my family needs. 

 “Food is not a problem. My friends and neighbours know about my situation, and they always help me with what they can. The main challenge I’ve been facing for years is about health.  

“Two of my three children were born with a malformation that forced them to undergo many surgeries during their childhood.  

“Because of the health problems of my children, in certain periods I had to choose between working and looking after them. That meant relying only on charities for the food and the clothes and sometimes it was very hard and frustrating.  

“During these tough times I tried to take advantage of some migration laws to let my husband reach us in Italy and help me with the children, but due to my financial situation, it was not possible. 

“During Ramadan people are more generous so it is easier for me to find some help”  

“Living in a non-Muslim country, we don’t really feel the difference. I work as always, but I try to go home earlier to prepare iftar. The mosque here organises some events, but with my disabled son it is not always easy to join the community.  

 “Our diet is mainly based on pasta, rice, some vegetables and we can afford it, some meat. I don’t have much time to cook, my eldest daughter often helps me and prepares dinner for her siblings. 

“You guys lighten a burden for people like me. This month I have one less worry and I can focus on my youngest child’s surgery.” 

Rabiaa’s Story  

Rabiaa (49) lives in Milano, Italy with her husband, brother and 4 children. She works precarious jobs, cleaning and cooking. 

“We don’t have a fixed monthly income. I’m the only one who can work and provide something when I have the chance to do some cleaning or cooking. My brother just arrived from Morocco and my husband is disabled”  

“(My brother) came to Italy through a clandestine route and he had to walk for a while in the cold with inappropriate clothes. Because of the cold, they had to cut his hand and some toes. He can’t work so we have to cover his needs too.  

“It’s very difficult to cover all the costs and often we can’t provide the children with all the stuff they need. Alhamdulilah for food we can rely on charities supporting us and the local mosque.”  

“We had a very tough time during COVID. My husband used to work and provide for our needs, but after he got the vaccine, he got very very sick” Pulls out again the mobile phone, “Sorry to show you this, but just to let you understand”, shows us photos of a man in intensive care “this is him, doctors could not understand what happened to him, we thought he would die.   

“Alhamdulilah Ramadan is a blessing because there are more good people like you helping us, at least for food.”   

 “We are very grateful for you guys who support us. With the voucher I can buy all the items my family need and at least for one month we can relax or focus on other priorities, not only on food.”  

In Italy, Islamic Relief distributed 463 food vouchers across the country aiming to reach around 2,000 vulnerable people in the provinces of Milan, Brescia, Trieste and Rome.

 

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