It’s 35 years since the terrible Ethiopia famine, which marked the birth of Muslim Aid. The year after the famine, our office opened in London and we started to deliver aid around the world.
Nine years later, we were able to open major livelihood programmes in Pakistan and Bangladesh, supporting people to become independent by giving them skills and a business start. This was also the time of the war in Bosnia, which became the first of many communities affected by war which Muslim Aid has supported.
Our reach became global, with seven primary health centres opening in Sudan. Our offices in Sri Lanka and Indonesia opened in 2005, in response to the devastating Asian Tsunami, and we joined the legendary Make Poverty History campaign at the same time. Then in 2010 we opened our tenth field office - Cambodia. By 2010, Muslim Aid was working directly with people in Myanmar and in Gaza, we still have major programmes in each country.
By 2014 and 2015 we started winning and being nominated for awards. We won International Charity of the Year at the Charity Times Awards and the British Muslim Awards nominated us for Charity of the Year. We delivered emergency aid to people caught in conflict in Myanmar and to those affected by drought in Somalia.
In 2017 Muslim Aid was one of the first responders on the ground at the Grenfell Tower tragedy, we went on to publish a report widely covered by media called Mind the Gap, highlighting the role of the voluntary sector in the response.
And now it’s 2020, 35 years since the Ethiopian famine and the birth of our charity. We are living in difficult times, working round the clock to combat the threat of coronavirus in the countries we work in, which have fragile health systems. Muslim Aid is continuing to grow, we help people in over 15 countries around the world and our commitment is as fresh as it was when our London office opened in 1985.