A Prophetic Inspiration to Refugees Everywhere
In Islamic tradition, helping those who are displaced and seeking safety is a moral obligation. The Qur’an teaches us that everyone has the right to live in peace and security, and that we should help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Refugee Week is a perfect time for us to remember this fundamental principle of our faith, and to show our solidarity with refugees around the world.
The Prophetic migration of 622 CE is often thought of as an early example of refugee solidarity. After facing persecution in Makkah, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and his followers sought refuge in Medina. There, after being welcomed by the local community, they not only built a new life for themselves, but changed the course of history forever. During Refugee Week, let us remember the Prophet’s (ﷺ) journey and show solidarity with all those who have been forced to flee their homes.
Here at Penny Appeal, our work supporting refugees began after the displacement of millions of Syrian people fleeing civil war. Our efforts took us to countries such as Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon, to provide life-saving aid to refugees fleeing the horrors of war in their homeland.
We have since provided food provisions, winter kits, education projects, sleeping bags, integrated nutrition assistance, cholera and WASH supplies, and many other interventions, to Syrian refugees in their host countries. Through our OrphanKind programme we have helped hundreds of Syrian refugee children enrol into school, bringing hope to parents who are seeking better lives for their families.
Over the years we have also provided relief and support to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh. Immediate relief in the form of food and shelter was of course essential to these people who had lost everything, and many organisations brought coordinated relief efforts to ensure necessities were provided. But we at Penny Appeal also recognised the huge problems caused by the lack of infrastructure within these camps, and the needs that arose as a result. This is why we also provided women’s health clinics, designated support areas for widows, youth group support, emergency flooring tiles, medical centres, construction of drainage systems and more, in order to help alleviate some of the deeper problems faced by those who had been ripped from their home communities.
Our recent work for Afghan, Ukrainian and other refugee groups continues in this tradition and carries on this critical work. We are constantly striving to improve our rapid response efforts as well as our recovery work, so that we can provide the best possible relief for those seeking a better future.
This week, we remember the millions of people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution. We also celebrate the tremendous contributions that refugees make to our communities and reaffirm our commitment to welcoming them. Refugees bring with them a wealth of skills, talents and experiences that enrich our societies – in this regard, the Prophet (ﷺ) should be an inspiration to us all. Refugees remind us of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and they inspire us to stand up for justice and compassion.
This Refugee Week, let us reaffirm our commitment to welcome and support refugees. Let us stand together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have been forced to flee their homes. And let us remember that, ultimately, we are all human beings with the same rights and dignity. We are all part of the same global family.
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FRIDAY 24 JUN 2022