Amino Mohmamud Heidh, a 40-year-old mother of eight from Somalia, was barely making ends meet selling cloth and dresses on the street after her husband was killed by men robbing his shop. Then she was stricken with breast cancer and had to seek help to put food on the table. Mrs Heidh lives in a single room with her children in Mussafah and has had no income except the Dh2,000 she receives monthly from the Zakat Fund.
"After my husband was fired from his job as a driver at the municipality, he moved to Somalia and opened a store. A year later he was killed. I was left here with my brother, but then my brother got fired too and went back." When her health deteriorated, she applied for the Zakat Fund's orphan programme. A month after she applied, during Ramadan last year, she started receiving a monthly allowance.
"All I can say is al hamdulillah, at least we are receiving something," she said. She cannot move back to Somalia, she said, because of the political situation. Her homeland is wracked by civil war, militant groups and pirates. Three of her children go to school, while the two older ones did not finish their education and are jobless. Two of her daughters are married. One had to flee the country while she was pregnant because her residency visa expired.