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Surviving Ramadan in Sudan

"We often struggle to find food when my sons can't get work"

Fareda Al-Rahman is a mother-of-nine who lives in Omdurman, Sudan.

“During this holy month, we spend our days fasting, praying and asking Allah to improve our situation. We have to spend a lot more during Ramadan because food prices go up, while the demand for work drops. This is hard on us because we depend on the wages of my two sons who are daily workers and they struggle to find work during Ramadan.”

Fareda, 48, used to work as a labourer at Al -Quran Al-Kareem University, but she contracted cancer a year ago and was forced to retire. As a result, her two sons Nader and Nazeer had to drop out of school in order to support the family. “We often struggle to find food when my sons can’t get work. My late husband left us a pension but it only covers the cost of my medical treatment.

“For lunch, we usually eat ful (beans) or lentils. On the days when my sons can’t find work, we are only able to eat a piece of dry bread and a cup of tea in the early morning. We then eat anything we can find for lunch and that is all we have for the whole day. On bad days, my daughter Omnia has to walk two kilometres to her school, because we can’t pay for transport.”

During Ramadan, Fareda and her family cannot always afford the ingredients for saliga (a type of soup), so Fareda tries to save as much as she can in the months leading up to Ramadan.

“On Eid, children expect new clothes and homemade cookies.” These aren’t always easy to provide, but Fareda explains, “To celebrate Eid day, neighbours share their breakfast with each other and everyone brings whatever food they can.”

Fareda lives with her children in a house made of mud. It consists of one room and a small kitchen, as well as a shelter made of cloth and sacks that protects them from the sun.

”The main problem we face is accessing water, the local source is salty, so we have to pay five Sudanese Pounds (€1.5) to get water over from a clean source which is further away.”

Fareda is still hopeful for her children’s future, “I wish for my children to be able to have better opportunities in life and to be able to support me and help me to repair our house.

Yesterday my daughter asked me how we are going to survive until the end of the month. I replied ‘Allah kareem’ and that’s the truth; we depend on God’s generosity to survive. I want to thank the people who donated this bag, may God bless you.

Your donations last Ramadan helped to prevent iftar from becoming a struggle for hundreds of thousands of people. Help them to secure an iftar this year too.

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