As an international development organisation working towards building resilient societies, World day of Social Justice serves as an occasion to draw attention to the sufferings of people from social inequality. Osman’s story speaks out loud about the inequalities faced by vulnerable people when factors such as weak governances, political instabilities, disasters and wars make them helpless to rebuild their lives.
His words summarize his story. He said: “Floods had destroyed everything I had. Honestly, I didn’t know how to replace the lost trees. The donation of trees by Muslim Aid was a great gift for my family. The training gave me a chance to learn a lot of useful things and I will use the manual in my future work which contains practical information.”
Osman Memic and his family owned 35 acres of land which they used for apple and pear plantation. This was their only means of income to support Osman, his wife, four children, parents and one brother. The floods of 2014 due to extraordinary rainfall destroyed the land he owned and endangered his livelihoods as well as his family’s well-being. Osman was amongst the 90,000 unfortunate persons who encountered large-scale damages due to the flood. Many of them were internally displaced and more than 40,000 people took refuge in public shelters provided by the local communities. Osman had no resources to re-establish his plantation and his family was dependant of his temporary jobs to make both ends meet. His family suffered to an extent that his children had to stop going to school.
Determined to improve his living conditions, he approached Muslim Aid’s livelihood services. Through the livelihood programme specially designed to educate people working in the agricultural sector, Osman received skills training in modern and cost effective techniques to grow fruits. In addition, to get Osman on his feet after the destruction of the land, Muslim Aid also donated 60 pear and 100 apple trees. To continue growing the plants in an efficient way, he also received a manual guide.
The knowledge and skills gained through the livelihood session helps Osman in looking after his cultivated area more diligently. Due to the manual guidance, Osman should be able to prepare himself for the shocks in the event of any natural disaster.
Muslim Aid’s livelihood and long term development projects such as microfinance and skills training are implemented to promote social justice in the developing countries. Last year, Muslim Aid helped over 53,000 individuals by enhancing their capacity through skills training, livelihood projects and interest free microfinance programme. These programmes enable individuals to become self-sufficient and economically independent.