Distributing grocery packs for the needy isn’t something new for Association Alraid, yet this year the benefit went to an unprecedented scale because of the restrictions imposed by the quarantine. Since 12 March we, in close cooperation with RAMU Umma, distributed 4600 grocery packs in Ukraine’s 14 regions, with 250 more ready to be distributed early next week. The fundraiser continues, for it remains unclear when the quarantine is over and when people whose economic stability it undermined will finally recover.
"We thank the good-doers, namely Ukrainian Muslims, both persons and businesses; indigenous Muslims and expats from Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and Turkey. We thank our adherents from abroad who extended their helping hand, namely German charitable fund Muslimehelfen, and Embassies of Muslim countries to Ukraine, including Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Qatar. Some donated money, while the others bought groceries and brought them to our Islamic Centres. People donated their efforts by volunteering, and their vehicles by participating in delivery" — told the head of All-Ukrainian Association "Alraid" Mr. Seyran Aryfov.
As for receivers of such aid, the list includes IDPs, needy Muslim families, large families, families who lost their income or a considerable part of it due to quarantine, lonely elderly people, and foreign Muslim students who for some reason failed to return to their home countries for the period of quarantine. Regardless of their religious views, some of the receivers were medical workers dealing with COVID-19 patients, teachers, Ukrainians who stayed in observation after returning from abroad or after there was a COVID-19 outbreak in their boarding house (In Zaporizhzhia, — Ed.).
According to Mr.Seyran Aryfov, a basic grocery pack consists of flour, pasta, rice, sugar, cookies and sunflower oil; with Ramadan approaching, they started to add dates. Yet the contents of such packs vary due to several reasons: some donors want to see a specified list of products in each pack, while others just buy some types of food and bring them to the nearest ICC, to be added to basic grocery packs at the next distribution. Thus, some packs included fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat; others had personal hygiene items. For large families, we packed larger sets of groceries; while the packs for smaller families and lonely people were smaller. We kept in mind that one pack had to last at least several weeks, and as Ramadan approached, we reconsidered and started packing for the whole month.
Sheikh Seyran notes that he is proud of the scale benefit and of everyone somehow involved in it. He believes that is a great example of mutual help and mercy for Ukrainian Muslims and the overall Ukrainian society alike.