It has been three years since the pandemic started, with 2022 being the first year where Ramadan would be somewhat normal.
As I look back at the many Ramadans of my childhood, I remember wonderful memories. What stood out the most were having iftars (breaking of the fast) with family, reading Quran throughout the day, and praying Taraweeh at the mosque just across from our house.
I set out to make Ramadan very special for our GiveLight children every year. I want them to one day look back and reminisce on the beautiful memories of Ramadan similar to mine. This year, I wanted to spread the Ramadan joy beyond the GiveLight community. As I thought of the endless suffering in the world, I asked myself what we could do in the meantime while trying to figure out a sustainable long-term plan.
The answers were quite simple: a special iftar and new Eid clothes. The challenge was to find trustworthy partners in locations where we don’t have an operation yet. Through His mercy and the generosity of many, we were able to plan and hold the following special iftaars:
1. 196 children in Beirut and Tripoli, Lebanon
2. 810 iftars in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. 206 children in Istanbul, Turkey
4. 600 children in Hyderabad, India
5. 388 children in Amman, Jordan
6. 200 children and their caretakers in Capetown, South Africa
7. GiveLight Homes: Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Morocco (Over 1000 children)
8. 1,000 children in Afghanistan, Palestine, Sierra Leone, and Yemen. 4000 children in total
Special thanks to the GiveLight Baltimore chapter for raising funds to sponsor iftars in Yemen and Afghanistan.
The smiles we witnessed as the children enjoyed their special iftars made us extremely happy and grateful. We felt happy because we were able to fulfill our goal to make Ramadan memorable for many kids across the globe. We felt grateful to Allah SWT and our generous friends for allowing us to help more than 8,000 children in 15 countries this year.
Of course, no Ramadan would be complete without new Eid clothes! Our teams on the ground were busy shopping during the last week of Ramadan to make sure all of the children had their new outfits. In some countries, like Indonesia and Turkey, the kids were able to go shopping themselves and choose their own outfits. In Malaysia, a partner brought the clothing vendors on-site as it was challenging logistically to take 110 children on a shopping trip. We sponsored the clothes for 30 children as the partner was able to secure funding from local sponsors. We decided to give $5 pocket money to each of the 110 children.
We were also able to buy Eid clothes for 90 children in an orphanage we help sponsor in Cairo, Egypt. A few members of our Cairo chapter were able to distribute them personally. In addition, we bought clothes for 146 children In Tripoli, Lebanon; the children shared their joy and thanks via this Video.
Another tradition for us is the Ramadan Quran competition for our GiveLight homes. This year we had three different categories:
- Surat Insan for High School and College
- Surat Takwir for Middle School
- Surat At-Tin for Elementary
We announced the winners during the last ten days of Ramadan. Each home held the award ceremony on Eid day. The first-place winners received $100, second-place winners received $75, and third-place winners received $50. Everyone received $10 each and a certificate for participation.
Overall, this Ramadan has been truly amazing for all of us at GiveLight. We witnessed God’s mercy pouring into our children’s lives through the generosity of our donors, and for that, we pray that they are all rewarded manifold.
Click Here to see our Ramadan and Eid 2022 activities from around the world.
Click Here to see images from all our Givelight Homes.
With our gratitude and prayers,
Dian Alyan and the GiveLight family