26 October 2018|16 Safar 1440

Cii Projects Update: Humanitarian trip to Bangladesh with Hafez Yousuf Manack, Brother Atiqur Rahmaan, Brother Ikhlaaq Muhamed and Brother Haytham

25 October 2018

The last day of my stay in Bangladesh has arrived. I am conflicted emotionally, in some ways I cannot wait to return home in others are I feel like I am leaving a part of my heart behind. I also feel like there is so much still to do, but time and resources are limited.

In the early hours of this morning I headed out with the team to a nearby hospital. A case was referred to us in the camps, a child who was not moving at all and could not be assisted at the clinic in the camp. We took the child with us to the nearby hospital. I was apprehensive as we entered the hospital, many people were waiting their turn and conditions at the hospital seemed unsanitary.

The child who was with us is a 2 year old named Humairah. Dr Alan examined her in the consultation room and the diagnosis was devastating. The baby was mentally and physically handicapped. She is 2 years old but her development is that of a 3/6 month old baby and her condition would remain that way indefinitely.

The diagnosis shocked and saddened me, I couldn’t contain my emotions. I held the baby in my arms and cried. She literally could not move a muscle, as I held her my heart just broke wondering what her future will hold. I enquired if anything else could be done by doctors and they agreed to try physiotherapy on her. We then kept her at the hospital so further tests can be run, results will be shared with us tomorrow.

Emotionally drained we set out for Kutupalong to complete our final distribution on this trip. As mentioned yesterday Kutupalong is a massive refugee camp, the army was deployed to assist us as we continued our feeding mission. The Rohingyians were already queuing even before we got there and they were once again allocated tickets. Todays hampers were massive they weighed in at 20kgs and consisted of 7Kg rice, 3kg flour, 2Kg lentils, 2Kg potatoes, 0.40Kg garlic, 0.40Kg ginger, 0.15Kg mixed spices, 0.5Kg sugar, 1Kg salt, 2 bars of soap and 2 litres of oil. Our target was to feed 200 families, many were receiving these hampers for the first time in months.

As our distribution neared the end, I met with a woman and I managed to interview her. Her story was the reason I was in tears for the second time today. This lady had 5 children and her husband. Back in Myanmar, the Buddhist terrorists forced their way into her home stabbed her numerous times and abused her children around her. She fled with her children across the border leaving her husband behind, later the army brought news that her husband was murdered. Due to her stab wounds she has extensive damage in her arms and legs. She is also starting to lose mobility and has her 5 children to care for, I actually stopped the interview because she was sobbing uncontrollably. This is one of thousands of stories these camps hold. Stories of untold horror, devastation and despair. The only hope they hang on to is their faith in Allah (SWT).

As we completed the distribution and left the camp, I had a heaviness in my heart. I can safely say these 5 days have changed my entire life, what I have witnessed has left me emotionally and physically broken. As helpless as I feel, I will not lose hope. Allah (SWT) has sent me to serve HIS servants for a reason, through the despair I see around me I draw strength from my Rohingyan brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers.

They have taught me about hope and resilience and I will broadcast their call for need far and wide until their condition is elevated. If you are reading this, and leave with nothing else, say a dua for OUR fellow ummatis in this part of the world. May Allah reward all of you who have donated and made our feeding possible. Our water wells will be up and running soon, and all of you who have made this possible will earn everlasting reward. Ameen.

InshAllah, our journey home begins tomorrow, may we be brought home safely.

Yours in the service to mankind,
Hafez Yousuf Manack

To donate generously towards the Rohingya food and water projects:

Bank: FNB
Account holder: Cii Projects
Acc no: 625 011 580 77
Branch Code: 250 655
Ref: ROH zakaat/lillah

Cii Projects, together we make the difference


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