Tears, smiles, as #Smile Mission feeds 10,000 IDPs to mark Eid celebration

Photo: IDPs during the distribution at Muna IDP Camp, Maiduguri, Sept. 09, 17

BY YUNUSA BUNU & SAIFULLAH MAHMUD | SEPTEMBER 11, 2017


At least 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Muna IDP Camp, Maiduguri have on Sunday September 10, benefitted from a feeding programme organized by Smile Mission Health Care (SMHC) to mark sallah celebration.

Dr Hadiza Isa Lagu, a volunteer working with the foundation, said 'SMFHCwho organizes different cadets of medical personnel to offer free medical outreach to the IDPs this time saw the need that the IDPs, like other members of the society should have a taste of Eid celebration they missed'.

'The foundation saw that the IDP kids would celebrate sallah with nothing and then thought to do something', Lagu added.

Dr. Saleh Abba, the founder of the foundation has said that the logistics for the programme were raised through donations.

The foundation, who planned to target a total of 2,000 IDPs in the programme, noted that it estimated a plate of balanced meal at N250 each, and called on the public through social media to donate a minimum of same.

'Astonishingly we raised the sum of N1.2 million, enough to feed 10,000 people', it noted.

The programme which did not hold on Eid day as previously intended, was meant to, displaced and away from home, put smiles on faces of the IDPs who do not have means to properly celebrate the festive day.

While the food distribution went on at Muna IDP Camp, one of the largest but 'unofficial' camps, the foundation also took the IDPs through how to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation so as to avoid cholera.

Recently, cases of cholera were reported in the camp.

Dr. Saleh noted that 'this is not the first time cases of cholera were found, it's a preventable disease, and the two key factors that can be used to prevent it is hygiene and portable drinking water'.

'We have little number of toilets here, the standard which is 20 persons per toilet is not the case here, 200 persons use one toilet. This exposes them to open defecation in the surrounding', Saleh added.

The beneficiaries, both young and old, could not hide their joy.

An IDP, eleven-year Dunoma Babagana, told our correspondent that this 'was his sallah'.

'This is my sallah, this is my sallah', he said repeatedly.

The expression on the faces of the IDPs moved many to tears.

Dr. Abubakar Kaimu, also of the foundation, said 'you can't hold back tears'.

'What actually moved me was the kindness of one of the kids.

'I gave him his package, and while he was eating, he saw another much younger kid crying as his turn was yet to come.

'He took his own share and fed him with his own hands', Kaumi explained.

Mohammed Chiroma, the team leader of Photo Community, a community of photographers and photo enthusiasts who also participated in the exercise stressed that 'these people (IDPs) should not be left out, they should at least be part of our celebration'.

IDP Ya Aisa Ali, said 'yes, God will reward those involved in the programme, we are all happy and God will make them happy in turn'.


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