The suffering of children is one of the hardest things to witness, and they are especially vulnerable to the effects of poverty and conflict. Each day children face formidable struggles and all too often they are left alone to fend for themselves.

Impoverished children and their families have so many doubts and uncertainties hanging over them. Where will our next meal come from? Where are we going to live? If we get sick and can’t afford medicine, will we survive?

Little hope of a brighter future

Even if children make it through a childhood of hunger, poverty and insecurity, many have little hope for a better life. Without an education and the means to support themselves by earning a decent income, there is no brighter future to look forward to.

Islamic Relief wants to see more smiles on the faces of children – smiles that come from a carefree childhood and the real prospect of a better life. We are working to secure a brighter future for orphans and needy children by providing them with an education, taking them out of dangerous child labour, and ensuring they are safe and protected. An important part of this is giving their families the opportunity to earn a steady income, and helping to empower them to fight for their rights.

From poverty to self-sufficiency in four years

Islamic Relief donors already enable us to provide one-to-one sponsorship for over  50,000 orphans around the world, helping to ensure that vulnerable children have food on their plates and can go to school each day. In addition to this we are pioneering a new alternative to one-to-one sponsorship in Bangladesh that not only offers education and protection for children but also provides their guardians with the funds, skills and business acumen they need to make whole families self-sufficient within four years.

Our exciting project, the Alternative Orphans Programme, achieves this by:

Providing livelihoods support – working with families to create a business plan, and providing necessary start-up costs in the form of an interest-free loan as well as relevant training.

Encouraging education – ensuring that 100% of child beneficiaries are enrolled in education, with school uniforms and all the learning equipment they need.

Delivering food security – ensuring that all families have the means to enjoy three meals per day.

Promoting community action – establishing community-based self-help groups with carers, in the hope that participation will improve their confidence and help mobilise communities to demand their rights.

Making time to play – holding sports days and helping organise other recreation activities for  orphan families.

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