"May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds!" ― the 84-year old lady does not hide her excitement and emotion, expressing gratitude to Alraid’s volunteers visited her. The woman was grateful even more for the attention paid by fellow believers than the present they made ― coal to be heating the house during the whole winter! She was among 230 other low-income Muslim families living in the Kherson oblast that Alraid activists managed to provide with coal and firewood within Warm Winter assistance program.
This year, 81 tons of coal and 120 cubic meters of firewood were purchased due to the Muslims’ donations and the cooperation of "Alraid", the RAMU "Umma", and MuslimeHelfen German charitable organisation. So, over five days they were delivered to the houses in Novooleksiyivka and neighbouring villages. Families which have many children or orphans, or persons with disabilities, lonely old people, migrants from the occupied Crimea were among those received the benefit. That was the local Muslim community which had made the lists of needy people, because who, if not they, could know who was in trouble?
As Ismail Kady, head of the "Alraid" project department, said, the reason Kherson oblast became an object of attention was not only because of Muslims, immigrants from Crimea, who are concentrated territorially here and consisted of those who, in Soviet times, could not return to their father's land, but sought to move from the places of exile as close to their homes as possible, and internally displaced persons from the occupied peninsula. The settlements, where they live in, are not supplied with gas, so the issue of heating the houses is more acute there than elsewhere. And the lockdown restrictions followed after the announced pandemic only have worsened the situation, as many people lost their usual sources of income ...
“I had no idea that you would come to me too, but, you see, you didn’t forget about the old one!” ― rejoices another old woman, inviting volunteers into the house. She is glad for the opportunity to pray with the guests and, as a sign of respect and special trust, shows them almost her greatest value ― an ancient Koran having been kept by her family for a long time.
Unfortunately, the volunteers cannot stay on a visit, since many families are still waiting for the aid. Wishing God's blessings to the woman, the visitors say goodbye and go to other homes. Meanwhile the old woman has already lighted the fire, and the warm heats not only the house, but also the soul with the understanding that fellow believers will always support in difficult times, and won’t leave alone with problems.
Looking back, since 2015, the All-Ukrainian Association "Alraid" and RAMU "Umma", in partnership with MuslimeHelfen, the German Muslim organisation, have held charity events. Displaced Muslims have already received heaters, blankets, pillows, bedding sets, as well as were repeatedly provided with food.
Thus, in February 2016, Crimean Tatar forced migrants got assistance consisted of more than 200 new sets of warm winter clothes, bedclothes, blankets, pillows, as well as food packages. Having begun in Kyiv, the charitable action covered several large cities of Ukraine such as: Vinnytsia, Lviv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, etc.
In 2017, the migrants (internally displaced families from Crimea and Donbas, refugees) also received the Warm Relief, containing bed sets (pillows, blankets, bedclothes) and 50 electric heaters.
In 2018, low-income Ukrainian families received 210 food packages in five cities: Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Novooleksiivka.
Since 2019, for the third time, needy families in Kherson oblast have received Warm Relief such as coal to heat cold houses in winter.
This year, on Ramadan eve, people in need, particularly, poor, lonely old people or people with disabilities, as well as large families ― mostly migrants from the occupied territories of Ukraine, were provided with food by Alraid and the RAMU Umma. This benefit, also sponsored by German co-religionists, was very appropriate under the lockdown restrictions.