Collecting money during the holy month of Ramadan
Two women raise money, buckets in hand, to help people stricken by the drought in the Horn of Africa. (Walaal Afuri Toronto/Facebook)
CBC News | Jun 20, 2016 – Throughout the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast during the daylight hours and gather to eat at feasts called Iftars once the sun goes down. But this year, droughts in the Horn of Africa have caused millions to go hungry all through the day and night.
That has prompted Somali-Canadians in Toronto to raise funds to help feed people in Somalia.
Amina Osman is running a campaign called Walaal Afuri, which she roughly translates to “feed your brother.”
For Osman, helping those in her home country is especially important now. “We have to remember the needy and the poor, especially in the month of Ramadan,” she told CBC’s Metro Morning on Monday. “It’s hard for them, they’re starving.”
She and more than 20 other volunteers are going out in the community with buckets, to collect whatever money people can offer. It’s something Osman acknowledges can be an issue for some Somali-Canadians, who themselves have low incomes.
“We don’t make people give us the money. We have the bucket … if you have one cent, 10 cents, 25 cents, any money counts,” she said.
“We know we have individuals or communities that are living very low income, but the good thing is, they live in Canada. They have a Canadian government, they can go to shelters and so forth, and get food.”
The Horn of Africa, which includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, is the poorest region on the continent, with more than 40 per cent of its population living in areas prone to extreme food shortages, according to the United Nations.
Osman is especially trying to solicit help from young people in her community, who she said can have little money to spare.
“[Donating] two dollars doesn’t kill you. We need it,” she said. “This is a pathway for the young ones to see that, yeah, you are in a country where you get what you want, or you have benefits. But the other ones who are your same age don’t have that. We should also show them that they have to help others.”
The Walaal Afuri campaign continues for the month of Ramadan.