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Donation Funnel

The gift of Amanah: Empowering our Rightsholders

The importance of Amanah 

In Islam, Amanah refers to fulfilling our obligations towards Allah and His creation in the correct way, and having integrity in doing so. 

Here at Islamic Relief, your donation is an Amanah, entrusted to us. We are Islamically obligated to make sure it’s delivered to those in need in the most effective way possible. We are accountable to you, to those who receive your Zakat from us (the rightsholders), and most importantly, we are accountable to Allah.

But we also give the gift of Amanah to those we serve – our rightsholders. Trusting and empowering them to use the aid provided to them in the best and most useful way, and helping them to become self-sufficient. 

Using cash and vouchers in our programmes 

Cash and vouchers are increasingly being recognised as an effective and dignified means of assisting vulnerable people. 

Islamic Relief are taking steps to increase our use of cash and vouchers in our programming in line with our Grand Bargain commitment and we can help people in crisis more swiftly and effectively through this.

This gives our rightsholders the choice of where they spend the aid provided to them. This approach not only meets the most pressing needs, but also protects people against resorting to harmful coping strategies and provides a much-needed boost to struggling local economies. 

Providing people with money enables them to meet their food, shelter, health as well as other basic and livelihood needs, while preserving their choice and dignity.

The cash and vouchers are an Amanah to our rightsholders, which they fulfil by using them for what they are  intended for. 

Savings groups 

For many, access to a small loan is a catalyst for starting their journey out of poverty. The process starts with joining a local savings and loans group. Members, often women, pool their savings and borrow for their families’ needs. Members repay the loans to the group at a small service charge.

Communities living in remote areas have limited access to essential financial services. Limited access to savings and credit services means vulnerable people cannot afford to invest in their farms, businesses or cater for unplanned events like illnesses or funerals.

To lead community recovery from drought and strengthen family incomes, Islamic Relief is training community members to create and lead the group savings and loans association in places like Kenya.

Nitunze Nikufae Women’s Group

Image: Nitunze Nikufae Women’s Group meeting.

Nitunze Nikufae Women’s Group is one of the 20 loans and savings groups created by Islamic Relief in Mandera and Kilifi, Kenya. Members of Nitunze Nikufae Women’s Group meet every Thursday to pool their resources together. The 30 members have collectively saved $1,050, and the group heads are entrusted to ensure that the money is kept safe. 

Previously, it was not common to find women together discussing development and business. Were it not for this savings and loans group, most women would be away searching for odd jobs. Islamic Relief guided us on how to register the group and open a bank account. We were trained on saving, loaning and electing a management committee. Previously, we didn’t even have enough to save in a bank account but we have now developed a savings culture. We also received entrepreneurship training. We are blessed to have bought an acre of land at $1,000. We intend to raise enough funds to dig a borehole and engage in irrigation farming by the end of the year. As a group, we also bought 18 seats for hire and to be used by members during personal events.

Janet, Chair of Nitunze Nikufae Women’s Group based in Garashi, Kilifi County

Islamic Relief is also empowering savings and loans group members with strong financial education.

400 members from 30 savings and loans groups were trained on income-generating activities and entrepreneurship. Three groups on the Kenyan Coast applied the knowledge gained from the training and received a total of $3,000 in funding from the local government of Kilifi.

The funds and loans shared out are life-changing for women, who can now feed their families, send their children to school and invest in small income generating activities, such as retail shops or livestock-rearing.

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