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Islamic Relief welfare officer and Halima

A helping hand for Halima and her family

Islamic Relief’s child welfare programmes transform the lives of many vulnerable children. We sponsor over 7,000 orphaned children in Gaza, giving their families a regular stipend towards their basic needs and schooling.

Seeing education as essential to building a brighter future, we improve access to quality preschool and education and support schools with water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.

Child protection is an important feature of all our work in Gaza and we also provide vital counselling and support services to vulnerable children.

Some of the young children we sponsored many years ago have now graduated from university or received training and internship opportunities through our programmes. As far as they can remember, Islamic Relief has always been a part of their life.

Eman Al Madhoun, Islamic Relief Orphan Sponsorship Officer in Gaza

Halima’s story

“I don’t like anybody hitting me,” says Halima, who after the death of her father experienced abuse at the hands of her uncle. Her mother, Um Mustafa, says that her brother- in-law regularly hit her and her children. They lived in the house of her husband’s family and had nowhere else to go.

But when she found he had tied Halima up with electrical wires and beat her, she took her children and fled.

Um Mustafa’s family were finally safe from domestic violence but without a family breadwinner she struggled to pay the rent. They had no refrigerator, gas or furniture. And Halima continued to suffer the effects of trauma. She wet the bed, hit her siblings, ripped out her hair, and ran away when she was afraid or angry.

Islamic Relief began sponsoring Halima by providing a regular stipend towards the family’s basic needs. We regularly visit sponsored children at home to check on their welfare and on one such visit our social worker realised Halima needed additional support. Enlisting the support of psychosocial specialists, we helped her come to terms with her past trauma.

Later, when Islamic Relief took the family on a rare picnic to one of our gardens in a bid to uplift their spirits, Halima finally opened up to her mother about her grief for her father.


I am so happy and thankful for your support and kindness. I hope you will continue your care and kindness with Halima so that she can live a normal life like other children.

Um Mustafa

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