Cyclone Idai

I arrived joining PennyAppeal staff just a few days after the cyclone.  My son, Mustafa and I dropped our bags off at a windowless hotel and went directly to handing out over 500 emergency food packages that afternoon.  What we saw in the eyes of women with babies tied in colorful African fabric to their backs wasn’t hunger. It was hope. We  were delivering HOPE.

Each of us has been almost lost their umbrella on a stormy day.  Cyclone Idai at 200 miles blew the roof off of almost every house in the port city of Beira, Mozambique.  We spent 5 days on the ground.  Everyday either distributing food or meeting with Ampora, local partner, visiting communities, making assessments, buying food and packaging food with volunteers.

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Naoima, Director of Ampora

The world will soon forget, but those we are helping will long remember Cyclone Idai and your support for the rest of their lives.  I sincerely thank everyone for their thoughts prayers and contributions to the relief effort in Mozambique.  https://pennyappealusa.org/campaigns/idai

HOW WE GOT STARTED:

Almost 1 year ago my 17-year-old daughter, Amira, and I joined a group of emerging leaders and went to The Gambia with PennyAppeal USA. We visited many of their projects including what they called an “Orphan Village” concept that they were developing. We also visited some of the solar water well projects and the women’s horticultural cooperative farm.

I have adopted the “horticultural garden” project. It is a sustainable development farm which supports eight of the surrounding villages. The community through the leadership of PennyAppeal has established a constitution which governs the operation. They raised some initial funds and PennyAppeal raised the balance from international donations.  10% of all of the revenue gained from the sale of the produce goes back into the maintenance of the project. The project has a solar array, mechanical pumps and plumbing that support the irrigation of the farm. I love it

NEXT STEPS:

On April 7th a group of Soulful Muslims gathered to hear about the trip to Mozambique.  In our meeting we discussed moving forward with the plan for a one week faith-service trip to The Gambia to install a solar water well with a rural community.  This system provides not only water but limited electricity to the community.

The Proposed 9 Nine day Trip (Sat-Sun)

Will spend three days living in the village and working on the installation of the well.

We will have a day and a half visit to Senegal and Goree Island.  Enroute to Dakar we can stop at some of the historical and Muslim spiritual centers.

We discussed bringing additional value to our trip by establishing a system of personal fundraising to raise twice the cost of the travel and accommodations through online vehicles such as “launchgood”.  We will have training for those going on the trip so that they will know what to expect living and working in rural Africa.

THE INSPIRATION:

During Soulful Muslims preparation for the interfaith 5k last year Sister Tavia asked me why don’t Muslims organize trips to serve people in Africa like the churches do.  I told her I will talk to our contacts in The Gambia and get it going. We will inform the local PennyAppeal organizers in The Gambia of our intent to move forward. Sister Tavia has agreed to be our lead organizer for a “Soulful Muslims” faith-in-action: Africa trip probably in the fall of 2019.  Tavia will be following up with Soulful Families with updates on our upcoming meetings. If you are interested in learning more contact (Whatspp +1 (434) 637-3690)