“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk.”
Bradford man on a self-funded pre-Ramadhan food aid trip
A Bradford man who is self-funding his fifth aid trip to the Turkish-Syrian border, this time to distribute Ramadhan food parcels to displaced Syrians, says he’s compelled to do what he can as the images of their desperate faces haunts him.
Devoted humanitarian Nazim Ali has raised almost £100,000 over the last 19 years for numerous charities both locally and globally, by partaking in numerous challenges such as marathons, 10K runs and mountain treks.
Now, ahead of Ramadhan on 15th May, during his annual leave as a Careers Adviser, he’ll be travelling to Reyhanli and surrounding areas to provide supplies to displaced families in the Turkish/Syrian border.
Leaving the comforts of his home for a week, Nazim - also a Non-Magistrate for the North and West Yorkshire Advisory Committee, will make his way to the Turkish-Syria border accompanied by other humanitarians from Dewsbury-based international humanitarian charity SKT Welfare.
Speaking to the Asian Express, Nazim says: “This is my fifth visit to the region for the fourth consecutive year, it is also the third consecutive annual Pre-Ramadan Aid Trip.”
“My trip is self-funded ensuring 100% of donations go towards the food parcels.
“I can tell you the situation has not changed for the displaced Syrians. Many families are living in partially built homes with no windows or doors, some are living in tents and are in need of food and water – commodities we take for granted.”
The crisis in Syria is the biggest humanitarian emergency in our era, with almost three-million Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey for safety and struggling to survive
“They (Syrians) need our help. The conflict has been going on for over six-years now and sadly shows no sign of ending.
“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk. Large families are rationing the very little food they have so that it lasts as long as possible.”
Nazim adds that one of the primary reasons he keeps going back are the Syrian refugees who have told him that it’s not just the aid he delivers that is appreciated, but the fact that his presence gives them solace.
“They are so thankful that someone has left their family 3,000 miles away in the UK to help them.
“They say ‘we (Syrian refugees) feel the world has forgotten about us but you being here (delivering aid to us) shows us and gives us comfort that we are not alone and in our hour of need are here to support us’.
“Just as many Muslims will be fasting in Ramadhan (for up to 20-hours without food or drink), so will they.
“The only difference is that we will be opening our fasts in our homes with our loved ones and in the presence of an abundance of food. They (Syrian refugees) however will be struggling to afford basic items such as dates and water.
“Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are suffering and in desperate need of assistance. In Reyhanli alone it is estimated there are almost 80,000 externally displaced Syrian refugees.
“I am also like previous aid trips planning to, God willing, take a suitcase full of toys for the Syrian Orphans and will hopefully visit SKT Welfare’s flagship state of the art ‘Springs of Hope Orphanage and Family Centre’ in the Turkish/Syrian border town of Reyhanli.
“For the last two years I have run 10K Runs in Ramadan for the aforementioned orphanage raising over £22,000."
Nazim had requested readers of Asian Express to assist in this aid mission. People can donate on: www.justgiving.com/nazim4syria or for further information can call 07825 698283 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - one food pack costs £50 and consists of two parcels each weighing 20.5KG each, providing enough food for a family of five people for one month.