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Sunday, March 3, 2024

HMD, Hope for Humanity, build mosque, shelters for underprivileged CRR community

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By Oumie Bojang

As their names state, Helping to Make a Difference in collaboration with Hope for Humanity, has built a community mosque in Kutcha and fifteen shelters within the Central River Region, for victims of flash floods, and people living in extreme poverty.

HMD is a charity organisation based in The Gambia with sub projects in the UK, Senegal and Uganda with a vision of a united and strong world of people, working and supporting one another in fighting poverty. HMD was founded by Gambians in 2016, officially registered as a public charity in 2017.

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Hope for Humanity, established in 2018, is a group of young British- Pakistani men whose sole aim is to serve as a beacon of hope for people in need. The organisation has given humanitarian aid in Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Turkiye and The Gambia.

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In an interview with one of the founders, Binyameen Hussain expressed fulfilment in the level of appreciation of beneficiaries over the donations. “In Ramadan, we raised thirty thousand pounds for the houses. We came here to ensure that these houses are handled with care in safe hands, and properly structured. When we take money from our donors, we make sure that it’s a hundred percent donation policy. We promised them we will embark on a goodwill tour, fund our trips ourselves and show them the outcome of their donations through first hand videos and pictures.”

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Akef Akbar, a co-founder, said another reason for their trip is to give families basic essentials of life, like sugar, oil, and rice. “Also scout for prospective projects that we can get involved in, seeing the smiles on their faces has propelled my motivation to another level and I am willing to contribute to seeing more of it by the will of Allah.”

Samba Joof, one of the beneficiaries, is a mason living with his wife and five kids in a ruined house that the sky is visible laying in. He said taking care of his family with a days earning that is not guaranteed, coupled with a bad shelter destroyed by floods and heavy wind is nerve-wrecking. “I am a willing and hard working man. It’s my job to provide for my family, but we are availed with limited earning resources in this settlement.”

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Alhagie Sock lives at Getagurr with his wife and three kids. He said he took on responsibility of his family since 1987 from a masonry job, but as he ages he could only take on miscellaneous works and that could only take care of a few. “I can’t tell how they found me, but during Ramadan I was sitting worried about how to feed my family, especially the kids that are not fasting. They knocked and gave me a twenty-five kilos bag of rice and a five litre cooking oil with dates; after a few months they came to survey my situation and found me in an even worse predicament. They gave me a horse and cart. The news of me receiving such a timely gift brought overwhelming joy to not just myself and family but to everyone that loves me.”

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Fatou Ndow, a widow with seven kids, teared up narrating the story of how she struggles to provide for her family. She said she and her family depend solely on farming, but their situation got to the extent of them consuming the next farming season’s seeds. Therefore, she called on any good samaritan for assistance. However she thanked the donors for taking away the burden of living in an unsafe shelter from her and her family.

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Speaking on behalf of HMD, Abdou Aziz Badjie, the finance and fundraising director, said since inception they have impacted and improved lives in different aspects through eid kurbani, ramadan packages, marriage packages, door of hope, petty trade packages and medical equipment to hospitals. He said there is a huge amount of people living in extreme poverty in the country and getting to them requires zeal, sacrifice and efforts. He therefore called on more of such initiatives to elevate living conditions.

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