Momina’s Story: A Ramadan Relieved from Hunger

Momina from Meiso district, Oromia, Ethiopia, one of the recipients of the food pack.

Last Ramadan, in 2023, one of the ways Islamic Relief has tried to support vulnerable communities around the world is through food distribution projects. One of the countries these food packs were delivered to was Ethiopia.

Ethiopia experiences a wide range of major socio-economic effects. Internal ethnic conflicts, drought, continued political unrest and war, as well as the steadily rising cost of living, have all taken a massive toll on the population.  

To combat issues such as food insecurity that come about as a result, Islamic Relief food distribution projects aim to support those most in need. These include orphans, through their fasting guardians, elders, lactating and destitute mothers, IDPs (internally displaced persons), people in poverty and other vulnerable groups.  

One of the recipients includes Momina Warrio and her family of 6, who live in Weltane IDP camp in Meiso, Oromia in Ethiopia.

Image: Momina from Meiso district, Oromia, Ethiopia, one of the recipients of the food pack.

Struggling to feed their family

“Getting enough food is quite difficult for us because we don’t have a regular and dependable source of income.

“My husband and I do not have a steady source of income to buy enough food for ourselves and our kids. My husband is a labourer, and we are very reliant on his meagre wages to cover our daily expenses.

“I occasionally gather wood in the jungle and sell it for a few pennies in town to supplement our income. As my husband and I get older, it becomes more difficult to maintain a labour force, generate income, and feed our kids on a regular basis.”

“Our children will go hungry if I and my husband become ill and are unable to work at our labour jobs.”

Life as an Internally Displaced Family in Ethiopia

 “For us, experiencing the effects of food shortages is not new. We have lived with this ever since we left our home and became IDPs. We frequently suffer greatly from a lack of nourishment.  

“My husband and I will be forced to stay home during the rainy season because we are unable to travel to our regular workplaces. The entire family encountered hunger at that time due to a lack of food to eat, especially our kids. 

“Likewise, we experience challenges during fasting occasions like Ramadan due to an extreme absence of food for fitur (iftar) and suhur (suhoor).”

Ramadan While Internally Displaced in Ethiopia  

“In the past, before we became IDPs, we used to fast Ramadan with no challenges…as we were able to gather crops and cereals using our fertile farming lands.  

“We were physically and psychologically strong and economically better off to fast the whole month of Ramadan and benefit from its numerous spiritual benefits.  

“We used to eat a well-balanced diet during Ramadan or out of Ramadan. For instance, we could prepare and eat meat and meat-related meals, too many biscuits and cookies, barley and oat soup, kitfo, etc. But now the experience is totally different. 

“Food is extremely scarce in the Weltane IDP Centre. Due to the severe impoverishment in the neighbourhood, purchasing food is out of reach for all of us. 

“The majority of Muslims who practise fasting throughout Ramadan lack sufficient food and other basics. There have been occasions when we were fasting in Ramadan with no food and only drinking water.  

“This breaks our hearts as we are unable to fast throughout the holy month of Ramadan.” 

How Islamic Relief Helps 

In 2023, more than 6595 households and 32,975 individual rightsholders benefited from the food pack project. Both In-kind and cash voucher assistance modalities were utilised to deliver the Ramadan food support. 

“This Ramadan food package is a huge benefit to my family and my IDP neighbours because it alleviates the hardships, we are experiencing due to the food crisis,” Momina says.

“We are pleased that the pack includes the food items we frequently consume. Food costs increase during Ramadan, and we are unable to buy those expensive food items. We will be able to meet our food needs during and beyond Ramadan thanks to the food pack support.  

“We are grateful to Islamic Relief and its donors for their kind support of underprivileged families like ours. I thank IR and the givers for the kind assistance I received. I pray to Allah (SW) to accept the fasting and good deeds of all IR families, especially those who donated these Ramadan food packs.”

Image: Momina and family from Meiso district, Oromia, Ethiopia, one of the recipients of the food pack.

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The post Momina’s Story: A Ramadan Relieved from Hunger appeared first on Islamic Relief Australia.