A group of high school seniors and college students in Markham have organized a drive to provide humanitarian aid in Yemen.
This initiative was started by Saadiya Patel, who is in her final year of high school. She came up with the idea of sending a container full of humanitarian aid to the people of war-torn Yemen. A civil war there has resulted in a stalemate and the government is unable to provide basic services to its people Saadiya didn’t want to limit people to providing monetary donations. Instead, people were encouraged to donate clothes, shoes, hygiene products, non-perishable food, etc. This entire project was handled by the MTJ foundation and other sponsors. Saadiya also has plans to start her own charity, she has already begun planning and hopes to get charitable status before September for her organization.
On the first weekend, with the help of the community, the youngsters received thousands of kilograms of goods, ranging from diapers, clothes, shoes, non-perishable foods, etc. They organized drop-off dates where under strict COVID protocols they managed to collect several pallets of goods. They used the storage facility provided by the Islamic Centre of Markham. The group also packed over 400 food boxes that can feed a family of 5 for a month.
The next weekend over 50 volunteers showed up and helped sort out all the goods and filter through the clothes. Everything was packaged up and readied for shipment to Aden, Yemen. From there Islamic Relief Yemen will be handling all the logistics and distribution. Islamic Relief Yemen’s website reads, “the tragedy has reached epic proportions, with a child dying every 10 minutes from preventable causes like diarrhoea, breathing infections and malnutrition. More than 3.3 million people are internally displaced, humanitarian access is difficult and the government has not been able to pay salaries.”