Today, our overview of Al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation’s work takes us to the village of Kafr Rumah in the western Maarrat al-Numan countryside, where local residents are burdened by deprivation and widespread suffering.
We find the house of Umm Mustafa, a widow suffering from poverty after the death of her husband, who was poor and unable to support her and her sons.
The family, composed of 10 members, was living in a deplorable situation, since the young children, including a child with special needs, could not even find enough to eat.
It is worth mentioning that when the Al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation team visited the family for the first time, they had nothing to eat. At that time, the mother wanted to heat some lentil soup, which she made from rice and lentil given as food aid by one of relief agencies. She was dividing the soup over two days to feed the whole family.
In this context, the idea of including the family within the Legitimate Livelihood projects supported by RAF Foundation was critical and very urgent.
In view of the nature of the region and the family’s previous experience with rearing cows, the idea of a livestock project, which cost 2,434 dollars, was implemented. The project’s success was helped by the team selecting a cow of the finest species and the most expensive on the market. The cow provided more than 30 kilogram of milk daily. This meant that the earnings of the project were enough to cover the family’s living expenses so they no longer needed any monthly aid.
It is also worth mentioning that what contributed to the high success of the project is the fact that the family lives in a small lane whose residents have to travel long distances to obtain milk. Thus, the product provided by the family matches consumer market needs in the area.
The project contributed to the family’s transition from being needy to prosperous. The family’s monthly income is estimated to be around 100 dollars in addition to the possibility of having a new baby calf each year.
Umm Mustafa told us about the change the family experienced, “We have had a difficult time. We were prepared to have no food or water in order to provide milk for my son Ibrahim who is a child with special needs, who permanently needs milk. At the time, we were witnessing a discontinuity in baby milk powder, which is expensive, given the lack of raw cattle milk. However, thanks to Al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation and the “Earning an Honest Living” project, we have decided to sponsor two other children belonging to neighboring and very poor families to help them after God blessed us with His loving mercy.”