Bringing Smiles to Bangladesh in Ramadan

“May Allah reward those who helped me.”

Zobeda, speaking these words, is wrinkled and frail. A threadbare cloth of sky blue covers her snowy hair and her work-worn hands clutch a walking stick. She is a farmer’s widow, a beggar in Hazaribag, Bangladesh. Her two sons have grown up and moved away. At age 85, Zobeda lives in a slum, alone and forgotten.

But during the holy month of Ramadan she was not forgotten, thanks to the generosity of Zakat Foundation of America donors. Cradling a large bag of food in her lap, she exclaimed, “I am surprised to be getting a big food package from Zakat Foundation of America!”

She is just one of the almost 9,000 suffering Bangladeshis whom Zakat Foundation of America reached during Ramadan this year. The donors who shared their wealth during the holy season of fasting provided 1,590 large packages filled with rice, sugar, cooking oil and lentils to needy individuals and families. Donors also brightened the faces of their brothers and sisters by providing 450 Iftar meals, 420 Eid gifts and generous cash assistance for educational, medical and transportation expenses.

With a population of 135 million, Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. Beyond the month of Ramadan Zakat Foundation of America aids and supports Bangladesh’s people through free health clinics, an orphan-care center, seasonal feeding programs and relief assistance during the seasonal floods and other times of emergency.