Total amount subject to Khums £0
Khums Due £0
Sahm al Imam to be paid £0
Sahm al Sada to be paid £0
If you ever walked into Al-Ayn’s headquarters in Iraq, where the orphaned children’s guardians receive their monthly allowances, you might think for a few minutes that you’ve stepped into a bank branch. There is no long hand-out queue, no media crew ready to take a photo of the mother holding their allowance, and no interview filming where they are asked to describe how the allowance they’ve just received will change their lives. None of the scenes that unfortunately typically accompany charitable acts.
Instead, the mothers go in, take a ticket, and are seated in the waiting area until their ticket number appears at a counter. They walk up to the counter and receive their allowance in the same way you’d cash a cheque. At the counter, they can privately discuss any specific needs or questions they have. Meanwhile, the orphaned children are away from this process. They are in another brightly coloured playroom, playing with other children, under the observation of social workers who are on the lookout for marks of progress or red flags.
This scene illustrates a principle that the Al-Ayn holds firmly onto at all times: dignity. Dignity is embedded in everything we do. You will see it in the way the field workers conduct their due diligence checks to assess a family’s needs during home visits. You will see it in how we portray orphaned children – always in a positive light and never in a state they would not want to be presented in. You will notice it in the person-first language we strictly use – we think language matters, and we believe children should never be defined solely by their circumstances.
Dignity at Al-Ayn means recognising an orphaned child’s value to be respected as an individual for their own sake. It is treating them the same way we would want our children to be treated. Yet as much as the principle of dignity is ingrained in our team at Al-Ayn, we still find ourselves humbled by everyday stories from the children who teach us how to behave with dignity.
For example, take Zahra. The Al-Ayn team visited her in her bare home in Diwaniya, supported by a flimsy, makeshift roof that had failed to protect the house from getting flooded. We learned that Zahra and her family had eaten boiled potatoes for several days in a row. Despite this, the family quickly gathered the best they could offer and presented it to the team. This humbled us and reminded us about the dignified care we strive for – to provide the very best we can to orphaned children, in the same way, Zahra and her family treated us during our visit.
Or Baneen as another example. When the Al-Ayn team visited her home, we were surprised to see a Sadaqa Box placed at the house entrance. “It’s because we always need to help others,” was Baneen’s reply when we asked her about the box. It humbled us to know that this family was giving to others despite the very little we knew they had. It reminded us again about the significance of dignity – and how they were individuals first, wanting to help others where possible, just like any of us.
Dignity is why our care is comprehensive and not limited to food and shelter because we believe orphaned children deserve the best in every aspect of their lives. More than 68,715 children are already receiving dignified, comprehensive care, but there is still lots of work to be done. We have more than 1,768 children on the waiting list who are not yet privately sponsored.
Join us in supporting more orphaned children.