Understanding the culture and living conditions of the local communities we work with is part of HCI’s philosophy while serving these communities, especially at times such as Eid when great importance is placed on reviving and enjoying the traditional aspects of local culture. In addition, these traditions serve to strengthen community ties and embody important ideals such as generosity and helping the needy.
On the 10th of Dhi Al-Hijaa during the pilgrimage season, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid Al-Adha or the “Feast of Sacrifice”. As part of the celebration, an animal is sacrificed for the sake of Allah and to feed the needy and poor. It is a rewarding spiritual act for Muslims. Every year, Human Concern International (HCI) carries out the Adahi Meat Distribution Project in different underdeveloped Islamic countries to feed needy and vulnerable families.
In 2009, the project was implemented in Gaza, the West Bank, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan (with Iraqi refugees) where families of the poorest communities received meat packages directly from HCI’s team, or through the help of our local partners.
The goal of the Adahi Meat Distribution project was to enable poor and vulnerable families to cover their basic need for animal protein during this holy season. Inflation of the prices of meat usually occurs during this season, which reduces the purchasing capacity of many families, especially poor ones. Many families also cannot sacrifice their own livestock because they need their animals for the production of milk, cheese and other dairy products, and to work in the fields.
The project has three main objectives: relieving poor families who cannot afford the high price of meat during this season; forming links with local communities to address the needs of poor and vulnerable families, and complementing HCI’s overall relief and development initiatives in the region. HCI’s selection criteria directed distributions to low-income, large, and single-parent families, particularly if the single parent was a woman or person with special needs.
In Gaza, HCI’s team made up of tens of volunteers went door to door and personally delivered the parcels containing meat portions. They listened to and made note of each family’s problems so that this information could be used for the next needs assessment and distribution project. Hundreds of families benefited from the distributed portions. The distribution was implemented in Sheikh Rdwan in Gaza city, Ezbat Abdrabo in Jebalia, Al Zaytoon neighberhoods, and Shajaeya in Al Shatae refugee Camp.
Neighborhood committees and the local volunteers helped in the distributions. The Shahada family, one of the families benefiting from the Adahi packages told the volunteers that they literally hadn’t tasted meat in months, as did another family from Ezbit Abd Rabo, who were extremely thankful for the meat they received, without which their Eid would have been miserable.
In the West Bank, HCI’s team organized the distribution of hundreds of meat packages to low income families with special needs persons in the Central District of the West Bank.
Female-headed households, and families where the breadwinner is disabled, were selected as front-end beneficiaries. Local women’s groups and village councils assisted in the identification of beneficiaries. HCI’s local partner, the Vocational Training Workshops for Girls NGO in Palestine contributed additional parcels that were distributed to additional families. The slaughtering took place at the premises of the NGO, as did the distributions. Families arrived early morning of the first day of the Eid to get their Adahi. The project provided direct support to the families surrounded by the West Bank Wall or by Israeli settlements. Local newspapers reported on the distributions.
In Sudan, HCI along with local partners, organized and implemented this year’s Adahi Distributions in many refugee settlements in the south, north and west of the capital. The Adahi Project targeted all those who reside in these communities, focusing on single mothers and orphans. Targeted beneficiaries where identified in association with local partners. The slaughtering and distributions were done according to the Islamic traditions. Every family received one package. The project targeted the poorest families, especially widows, orphans and families with no income. HCI’s team made a point to be active in communities that contain refugees from the Darfur region and from southern Sudan.
In Egypt, HCI’s team distributed meat packages to the poorest households in the marginalized new desert settlements of Kalabsha El-Jedida, Bashayer el-Kheir, New Tomas and ‘Afia village located west of Lake Nasser.
In order to guarantee a proper exposure to the HCI, banners, stickers and bags with the HCI logo where printed to be used on the day of distribution, so that people from the villages would recognize that the event was an HCI initiative. HCI’s local partner, the Center for Development Services, contributed additional parcels bearing the logos of HCI and its partners that were distributed to additional families.
In Jordan, in the Jabal Al Qusour district, one of the poorest areas of the capital Amman and home to thousands of Iraqi refugees, HCI’s team distributed food packages to marginalized and mostly widow headed Iraqi refugee families despite the continuing challenge of reaching needy Iraqis who are often unable to seek out official forms of aid because of economic constraints or disabilities.
Family Development Association, a women-headed grassroots organization, assisted in reaching out to Iraqis most in need based on the preset selection criteria. HCI’s long term local partner, New Development assisted in the screening and selection of final beneficiaries, as well as in the procurement of food items in close consultation with HCI’s team. HCI’s local partners contributed additional packages bearing the logos of HCI and its partners to be distributed to additional families. Local newspapers reported on the distributions. These families are live mostly on donations and humanitarian aid with no financial income whatsoever. The Adahi distribution made it possible for them to fully celebrate the holy days. One of the families which received a meat portion hadn’t included meat in their very humble meals since the last Ramadan Eid.
In Lebanon, hundreds of needy single mother headed families benefited from this year’s meat distributions during the Eid Al-Adha in Tripoli, Lebanon. Some of the distributions were conducted at the premises of HCI’s partner in Tripoli, the CIWS.
HCI’s team went door to door in the poorest neighborhoods of the city of Tripoli and personally delivered the meat portions to the remaining beneficiaries. HCI’s team supervised and monitored the entire process from the procurement of the supplies to the packing, as well as the organization of distributions and the selection criteria for beneficiaries in order to ensure the highest and best efficiency.Beneficiaries have commented positively on the distributions, and have sent greetings and best wishes to HCI, and to the people who made their Eid possible.
The Adahi project is designed to deliver immediate relief to the poorest families in 5 Arab countries (Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Egypt). It is important to continue implementing this seasonal project every year, as poor families can’t afford meat portions in their diet due to its high costs. The Adahi project promotes sharing and caring values especially in times of need, as well as in times of feasts. The project promotes the good will of HCI and our commitment to working and alleviating poverty in the Arab region. It enhances HCI’s relations with local partners who implement these projects, and the communities in which we work with.
The Adahi project as an immediate relief project supports other development projects that HCI is implementing in the region by exhibiting HCI commitment to poor communities need. It demonstrates the quick response and delivery of the HCI’s projects while working towards longer and sustainable outcomes through our other specialized projects.