Chicago, IL (June 14, 2023) — During the last year, the situations in Argentina have escalated to a true humanitarian crisis due to factors such as devaluation in currency, economic instability, social inequality as well as drug addiction and domestic violence. These events have resulted in many local children suffering from hunger, neglect and educational deficiencies. Over a decade ago in 2011, Zakat Foundation of America founded an office in Latin America located in Cordoba, Argentina. Zakat Foundation has been committed to long-term support working alongside local partners in Latin America since opening its regional office.
Zakat Foundation of America stepped in to help bridge this gap. Since 2021, ZFA has worked alongside 12 community kitchens who collectively regularly feed approximately 1,050 children. During this time, Zakat Foundation also provided training to the community in leadership, food hygiene, communications, and child psychology. The community kitchen locations (“merenderos”) also provide a safe place for the children to play, do homework and feel loved.
COO of Zakat Foundation of America, Amina Demir, is currently visiting the local offices and seeing the work first-hand with the children. She visited the community center, where ZFA provides child sponsorship for children, many of whom are orphans, for ages newborn-6 years old. This program provides clothing, school supplies. healthy nutritious meals, education, EID gifts, medical care and is a long-term program designed to help children thrive. She noted that the heater, which cost approximately $25 US dollars, was broken, and that she was personally ensuring it was replaced during her visit. Media sent from the field showed Demir accepting various artwork and hugs from the children. Demir also mentioned that the Zakat Foundation of America sponsorship is considered sadaqah jariyah under Islamic law, which is a long-term kindness that accrues rewards from Allah, even after death for Muslims.
Veronica De Pasquale, the founder of the Latin American office states, “ [In Latin America] There is extreme poverty, child neglect and abuse, homelessness, illiteracy, hunger, refugee crisis, among many others. ….Political instabilities and widespread corruption have caused and worsened many humanitarian crises in recent decades.”
Demir is available for interviews, quotes as well as additional media upon request. Reporters are welcome to conduct live interviews via zoom, phone or in person at Zakat Foundation of America’s Headquarters location in Bridgeview, IL.
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In 2022, 91¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 4¢ went to administrative costs & 5¢ went to fundraising costs.