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The MENA organizations stepping up aid during lockdown Ramadan

Now that we are a few days into the holy month, it is clear that, greater than the solitude of confinement rises the unity and solidarity of those rallying efforts to support their neighbors and communities. Countless non-profit organizations and social media groups have flourished in the last few weeks to address the growing need for help, in addition to established philanthropic organizations stepping up their missions to specifically cater to a Ramadan of isolation.

In This Together

This Emirati grassroots initiative has committed its efforts to the more intangible task of making people feel less alone during the alienating pandemic. Founded by Ahmad Ali, the group relies on connecting those in need with a network of volunteers, offering free homeschooling webinars to parents who are new to online learning, weekly arts and crafts classes, and plants to get the wheels rolling on their delivery food truck to feed those struck by poverty.

Jood

With the pandemic further widening gaps between social classes, the founder to this Moroccan non profit, Hind Laidi took it upon himself to join efforts with the money transferring company CashPlus to distribute financial donations to those who lost their jobs due to the outbreak.

His company JOOD already gathered about $95,000, split between 950 families with neither jobs nor social security, providing them with 1,000 Moroccan Dirhams ($100) to stock up on much-needed essential goods. In addition they have also provided food baskets to 3,000 families along with primary needs such as mattresses, blankets, hygiene products to 10 homeless shelters dispersed across five Moroccan cities.

Egyptian Single Mothers

This Facebook group created in 2016 by Nermeen Abousalem dedicates its philanthropy to support and empower its eponymous members. Now they’re undergoing special mission for a Ramadan under lockdown.

In previous holy months, the organization collected and distributed financial packages to single mothers who signed up and qualified for the aid. This year, the group will go above and beyond the donations by advertising the many small businesses owned and run by the members for a more durable, long term boost.

Sawa for Development and Aid (SDAID)

This Lebanese NGO, with the arabic word Sawa translating to “together,” has focused its attention on Syrian Refugees residing in their country for almost a decade now. Pioneers for these, now more widespread, efforts, they helped the first 40 Syrian families to seek refuge in Lebanon after feeling from the war. Today, their well established project reaches tens of thousands of refugees.

Today, SDAID tackles a particularly difficult Ramadan for refugees, aiming to reach 3,000 individuals throughout the holy month. With the help of a growing online fund, their Kitchen Ramadan is feeding many mouths. Beyond that, they will continue to distribute food baskets in local refugee camps, host virtual sessions to increase awareness around the virus and its implications, implement small group activities to maintain communal solidarity and also thoroughly disinfect the camps.