Ramadan Appeal Delivered
2016 Ramadan Appeal Distribution Higlights from Thailand, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea
25 & 26 June 2016 – Bangkok, Thailand
As part of our 2016 Ramadan Appeal, your iftar and food pack donations were distributed in 19 different locations of Bangkok, Thailand. The campaign was co-ordinated by our country partner; Marmara Solidarity and Aid Foundation.
An ARO delegation travelled from Melbourne to attend the distribution programs held at different locations in Bangkok. This year, Nur Elif Ankara (Teacher at Sirius College Eastmeadows Girls High School) and Feyza Artar (Councillor at Sirius College Shepparton Campus), led a student delegation from Sirius College which consisted of Fatma Lelik, Selin Bas and Beyza Yavuz for the charity trip.
On their first day, our volunteers stopped by the local Dar ul Ebadah Mosque to provide your food pack donations to locals. After, our group visited poverty stricken houses at that neighbourhood and observed the extreme poverty conditions that are challenging the locals. Next, our delegation travelled to the city center and attended an iftar dinner at the Islamic Center, which was sponsored by your donations. Later, food packs were provided to orphans to an adjacent orphanage as well as to the needy living around the mosque. Needless to say, their joy was priceless.
On their second day, the ARO delegation had the opportunity to share your iftar donations at Masjid Anwaisunnah with locals. Then, they provided your food pack donations to locals living around the Sasanupathum School under the rain. The school provides education to almost a hundred orphan and poor children.
Throughout their journey, our volunteers team was surrounded by needy recipients. Contemplating on the importance of the aid packs to the locals, the trip provided a platform for their spiritual growth and development into more conscious individuals.
We would like to thank Marmara Solidarity and Aid Foundation for their coordination, our volunteers team from Sirius College, Melbourne for their fundraising and travel efforts, and of course all our sponsors who supported our Ramadan Appeal campaign with their iftar and food pack donations.
25 & 26 June 2016 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
As part of our 2016 Ramadan Appeal, your iftar and food pack donations were distributed in different locations of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The campaign was co-ordinated by our country partner; HIBS Horizon International Bilingual School in partnership with the Fatherland Party of Vietnam.
An ARO delegation travelled from Sydney to attend the distribution programs held at various locations in Vietnam. This year, Gurkan Gurbuz, Recep Aydogan, Sefa Demir, Mustafa Agar, Gurkan Pullukcu and Hakan Kosaroglu volunteered for the occasion.
On June the 25th, the group landed in Ho Chi Minh City and their first distribution point was the Town Hall of District 8, where hundreds of food packs were handed out. There, our delegation was warmly greeted by Mr. Le Van Thu, Representative of Fatherland Front of People Committee Ho Chi Minh City, and Mr Mai Hong Phong, Vice-President of Fatherland Front of People Committee District 8. To simplify the distribution process, our food pack recipients were selected by local authorities and were issued collection coupons beforehand. Our volunteers team then headed to a local mosque and presented your iftar donations to the congregation. Later, they also distributed food packs to selected beneficiaries to locals.
Day two, was much more exhausting. The ARO volunteers left Ho Chi Minh City for Choi Moi District, travelling through the Vietnam country side. During this four hour bus trip, they witnessed the poverty stricken areas of the country side. Next, food pack distribution in Choi Moi District took place in the town hall as well as village and it was strongly supported by the local officials. There, our volunteers team were swarmed by the needy recipients, and they really understood the importance of the aid packs to the locals. Throughout their journey, our volunteers also tried to please the local children by handing out toys and sweets.
Our team had a further three hour bus trip to An Giang Province. There in Chau Phong, they were able to distribute a large number of food packs across four different mosques. The President of Masjid Al Nia’ personally thanked Australians for helping and remembering them during the month of Ramadan and hoped that this would continue on a yearly basis.
We would like to thank Horizon International Bilingual School for their coordination, our volunteers team for their effort and those who supported our Ramadan Appeal campaign to make it a success.
An ARO volunteers team travelled to PNG to attend the distribution programs held at various locations of Port Moresby. For this occasion, our volunteers were university students from Sydney; namely Koray Adali, Gabriel Moussa and Furkan Cansiz.
Upon their arrival to PNG on 24 June, the group was welcomed by the Paradise High School representatives and taken to the school. There, the ARO delegation has helped the preparation of food packs which contained rice, sugar, flour, cans of tuna, sunflower oil and noodles. After preparations, food packs were loaded up onto a truck and set off to the first distribution site.
Locals were delighted to see our delegation with great smiles on their faces and waited for their names to be called out by the community leader. Distributions continued on 25 June at the second distribution site. There, the ARO delegation observed that those people haven’t had a proper meal in days.
As the distribution process started, the hopelessness in the eyes of locals faded away and villagers sang songs of joy as they received their food packages. In addition to lack of jobs, it is observed that those locals have had difficult lives. As the village chief explains to our volunteer group, many of our aid recipients have either no jobs or has lost a loved one. Exacerbating the situation, HIV or a severe case of tuberculosis is very common among those people.
Our group attended an iftar later that day at the local mosque to hand out iftar donations and had a chance to spend time with the locals. While sitting and eating, locals expressed their appreciation for the iftars, gratitude towards ARO and the Australian donors.
Personal note of Koray Adali on his PNG experience is as follows: “Making our way back to the school after the second distribution, there was a certain eerie tone in the truck everyone was trying to absorb and understand the experience. Even though we were happy to help the locals, we have felt as though that our effort was not enough. We should have done more! Then, we took another shipment of food packs to the third settlement. Once again, the people were overwhelmed with joy and we were thrilled to be there and help out. As we handed out the food packs, I asked the community leader: “If it wasn’t for these foods packs, how would these people get food?” The answer was shocking: “They don’t!” This struck a nerve within all of us and made us think about our way of life at home, where we simply walk to the fridge to get a meal. These people can not get any food on the other hand, even if they walk for 2 kilometres! That ride back to the school was by far the quietest as everyone was just consumed by deep thought on our own way of living and the things we take for granted. We decided to help out more in the future.
Speaking on behalf of the whole group, this trip was an eye-opener and I am honoured and blessed to be a part of ARO’s 2016 Ramadan Iftar and Food Pack campaign. Trials and tribulations that we faced on the trip, has been a platform for our growth and development into more conscious individuals.”
We would like to thank Paradise High School for their coordination, our volunteers team for their effort and those who supported our Ramadan Appeal campaign to make it a success.