“Unable to protect ourselves in the cold harsh weather”

Resources are scarce, job opportunities are few and people still live in fear of their lives. Now, winter has set in and the struggle to survive in the cold and harsh climate has become even greater.

“Unable to protect ourselves in the cold harsh weather”

In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, we find Hindey, who is 70 years old and living with eight of his family members including his wife, four sons and three daughters. Hindey was forced to leave his home in Al Anbar (South Iraq) due to the ongoing conflict between the Iraqi military forces and Islamic state.

“We are suffering from multiple challenges.” Hindey told us. “Before the displacement I used to be a contractor. I had my own house in Al Anbar and life was smooth. I was able to meet the needs of my family through decent earnings. Due to the high level of insecurity in Al Anbar, I had to flee with my family and we arrived in Erbil.

“Life is a real struggle as we cannot afford the high rents in Erbil, so we are living with three other families. I have very limited income which is not enough to support eight family members. Many people here have been displaced from their homes, and with winter fast approaching, we have been unable to secure essential winter items to help protect us against the cold harsh weather.”

Love is…warm cosy boots for freezing feet

Losing your home, livelihood and peace of mind is difficult enough without also having to cope with the hardships of winter, yet millions of Iraqis face this challenge every year. Unable to afford food and basic items to help stay warm, many will become ill and weak over the coming months.

Alhamdulillah, Hindey has received some assistance from Islamic Relief, which has been a lifeline to him and his family. He told us “The Islamic Relief team visited our area and found us eligible for assistance. They provided us with blankets, pillows, mattresses, clothes and boots for the children and a stove for cooking. We were barely surviving before they came and their help made a huge difference to us. Now I can use my income to buy other important necessities of life. I am very thankful for their help as my family can now sleep at night in the harsh winter weather.”

But there are countless others just like Hindey in Iraq who are left to survive on their own this winter. Children, the sick and the elderly are particularly vulnerable at this time of year. Together we can help bring ease to those in difficulty by providing lifesaving items such as blankets, fuel, warm clothing and food. Indeed, there is great reward in helping those in need, as per the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) who said:

“Whoever relieves the hardship of a believer in this world, Allah will relieve his hardship on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever helps ease someone in difficulty, Allah will make it easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever covers the faults of a Muslim, Allah will cover his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps the servant as long as he helps his brother.” (Muslim)

Despite the hardships winter brings for millions of people across the world, together we can help to make the struggle for survival easier by providing basic necessities such as food, fuel, clothing and shelter.

Will you show some love by helping those in need this winter?

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