This article was also published in the Palos Patch.
Every single day, Khadija* walked the streets of her city to sell snacks and watermelons. Whatever she collected would go towards her sick husband’s medical expenses. In Bangladesh, a nation where nearly one third of the population lives in poverty, Khadija was just one of millions working for scraps to make ends meet.
Eventually, Khadija was informed about Zakat Foundation of America’s (ZF) healthcare programs in Bangladesh.
ZF’s foundational programs (food aid, education, orphan sponsorship) have been active in Bangladesh for years. However, the ZF team based in Bangladesh prioritized health care as an urgent humanitarian need to treat preventable illnesses. Our colleagues established a series of health clinics serving the poorest communities. By June, ZF-sponsored health clinics treated 1,040 patients.
“After hearing about Zakat Foundation’s health clinic, I’m trying to come here regularly,” Khadija said. “Thank you, Zakat Foundation.”
In addition, ZF field workers set up health camps in disadvantaged neighborhoods to promote health education and provide treatment. ZF colleagues visited about 765 homes. During these visits, field members explained the importance of child vaccinations, dieting, hygiene, and more. ZF hosted three community-wide meetings discussing water safety, stomach diseases and cleanliness. Communities were educated on how to prevent infections and bacterial contamination.
Zakat Foundation of America is a nonprofit humanitarian organization based in the Chicago-land area with it’s main office located in Bridgeview, IL. ZF strives to be an exceptional relief and development organization utilizing sustainable methods, while modeling the spirit of cooperative internationalism that will be essential in an increasingly unstable world. As a direct result of its reputation for path-breaking humanitarianism with a global vision, ZF is rapidly growing in reach and capacity.