Zakat Expert

Malika was 8 months pregnant when she fled her violent marriage. By the time she turned to NZF for help, she was living in an unfurnished apartment with her newborn son. She didn’t even have money to buy the clothes he desperately needed.

This is how your Zakat lifted Malika out of poverty and gave her the chance to build a safe, new life for her son.

I was 8 months pregnant when I left my husband.

I stayed as long as I possibly could, trying to hold on to the family I thought I wanted for my unborn baby. But when it became clear he might hurt our child too, I had to go. He didn’t care that I was pregnant. He was the boxer and I was his punching bag.

In the end, the love I had for my unborn baby was greater than my fear of him.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long before I was granted emergency accommodation. And although I was grateful to have a roof over my head, the reality was that I couldn’t survive in an empty apartment with a newborn.

It was completely bare. The kitchen was empty, the bedrooms were empty and my living room didn’t even have a carpet.

After I gave birth to my son, I had to accept that I needed help. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I did it. I went to my local library, logged on to a computer, and applied for a hardship grant through the NZF website.

My apartment went from being a cold, empty house to a warm, safe home

NZF acted swiftly and sensitively, because as the mother of a newborn baby who’d recently fled a dangerous situation, my case was flagged as an emergency.

I know NZF usually helps people who are maybe being evicted or who have no money for food, so I wasn’t sure how they’d react to my request for furniture, kitchen appliances and baby clothes. But I had no reason to worry. My Programme Officer understood that I couldn’t function on a day-to-day basis without these things, and that I couldn’t raise a child safely in these circumstances.

The charity covered the cost of a washing machine, carpet, freezer, dining table, wardrobe and clothes for me and my son. They also gave me a grant so I had money that was exclusively for the baby and his imminent needs.

Within a few weeks, my apartment went from being a cold, empty house to a warm, safe home that I could comfortably raise my son in.

Now I know I’ve made the right choice

What I needed most was a chance; the chance to give my son the life he deserves. I didn’t want to bring him into a world where he’d have to watch his mother being beaten; where he’d be emotionally damaged by the two people who are supposed to protect him.

More than anything, I wanted to keep him safe – not just from violence, but also from poverty. Because over the past year, I’ve known what it is to be poor and that is a struggle I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

But I’m one of the blessed ones. Your Zakat lifted me out of poverty and gave me the chance to build a stable life for my child.

Now, I no longer stare at an empty apartment, wondering if I’ve made the right choices. I can put the past behind me and focus on giving my son the care-free childhood every child deserves.

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