Islamic Relief (IR) is one of a group of faith-based organisations which have come together to provide emergency aid to those affected by the Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone.
Working with Seventh-day Adventist organisation ADRA and Muslim Aid, IR is providing vital assistance to Buddhist and Hindu communities with the support of local Buddhist monks.
“Initially the head monk of one of the villages we visited was confused because of our name and the fact that his village was made up mostly of Buddhists. He became really overjoyed when I told him that we help all people that are in need – regardless of faith. He just had this great big smile and kept saying that he was overjoyed that people from a different faith were helping him and his people,” said IR’s Head of Mission in Myanmar, Arif Khan.
“Disasters, while tragic, also present an opportunity for different people from various backgrounds to come together for a common humanitarian cause,” Khan added.
Buddhist monasteries are the focal point of most Myanmar communities and Buddhist monks are the most trusted members of these communities making their help invaluable.
To date IR has distributed food parcels to around 3 thousand families in Kyauktan Township and household kits to over five hundred families. A further 1,000 household kits will be distributed in Labutta Township.
IR is also rehabilitating two Myanmar schools and plans to repair a further ten by mid-October, as well as helping provide clean water to local communities.