MUSLIMS across Scotland are about to enter their second Ramadan in lockdown. But many are still shielding, isolating or in financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.
Glasgow Afghan United (GAU) has distributed bumper food parcels with two weeks’ worth of supplies to 100 struggling households to ensure they have what they need to fast and feast during this important time.
Some of those supported have been out of work for eight months and have joined our regular food aid list. That service began when the first lockdown started one year ago.
But we know some others facing hardship have not sought the help they need. As the holy month begins, we at GAU are urging households to come forwards in confidence – and asking those more fortunate to donate their time or money to support the work we do.
Director Abdul Bostani said: “Ramadan is a time for all of the Muslim community to come together. GAU is here to help, regardless of your background.
“A lot of people are experiencing extensive difficulty but are not talking to anyone about it. There will be people around Glasgow who are embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help even though their troubles are no fault of their own. We will respect your dignity – talk to us in confidence and we will help you.”
Ramadan, which follows the lunar calendar, is expected to begin today or tomorrow. During this time Muslims fast in daylight hours, feast after sunset and focus on charity, with participants required to give a portion of their income to others who are experiencing hardship.
Households currently supported by GAU include families left out of work for as long as eight months due to lockdown measures and unable to afford to power their homes and fill their fridges.
We have super-sized our packs of rice, meat, fruit and vegetables for Ramadan to include items like dates and lamb mince, which are traditionally eaten over the period. Each pack is designed to last a larger household for two weeks.
Recipients will be given a second delivery to take them right through until Ramadan ends in mid-May.
The packages are provided thanks to the generous backing of funders including Foundation Scotland, Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Refugee Council, ng Homes, the Big Lottery and Mears Group.
Bostani said: “We are very grateful to all the organisations which help us to provide food aid, language and skills classes, and support groups to the community.
“Charity is at the heart of Ramadan, when wealthy people consider the lives of those without wealth and give donations to help them. We would ask everyone to consider giving to GAU to support the work we do with men, women and children in our city all 52 weeks of the year. We’d also be delighted to welcome new volunteers to help expand our work and reach as many people as possible.
“GAU would like to wish all everyone a blessed and safe Ramadan.”
To seek support, make a donation or to find out more about volunteering, please visit the Contact Us section of the website and fill our your details. Alternatively, you can contact us using our Facebook page.