Before you donate to a charity for Moroccan aid and relief please read!
Recently I have seen some brothers came to Morocco to distribute sadaqah. This post isn’t to expose anyone or to turn people away from these brothers as there is 2 different charities in particular I want to discuss.
1 is a group of brothers and the other is a particular brother.
firstly the group of brothers who came to Morocco I had contact with one of them who had agreed to want to help me with charity work here. When I found out he was in Morocco I messaged him but he didn’t seem too keen to respond more than a word here and there.
So I watched their videos and looked at their pictures and was greatly disturbed at some of the claims. This is the issue with these brothers that I have as they seem to do a lot of good work but I feel they used ‘charity terminology’ so they didn’t necessarily lie but its the person who is listening to perceive it correct or not. Such as …
-A claim of a month worth of food ( to feed a family for a month ) cost £16 and consisted of some flour, jam, laughing cow cheese, oil, lentils, dates, sugar.
(Note: the other brother had the same claim £20 to feed a family for a month.)
This picture is from one of their Facebook pages.
Anyone who looks at the pictures, please consider what you are seeing and think if that would suffice someone for a month and how insulting this is to someone who is poor.
I personally have lived in Morocco for 4 years and I can say after living in the city and now in a village ( which has many poor people living in mud houses ) no one lives on £20 a month for just food. Not even the most basic food
Now maybe the bag of flour will last them a month and the oil but nothing else there will.
-The other issue is one video the brother said the area has many poor women and single mothers. There is poor everywhere in Morocco actually the general people are poor so that isn’t a surprise but the single mother claim bothers me as the reality is many women aren’t single mothers but married. Then to open a van and hand out bags of food to people, how do you consider who is poor or not when you just have an open distribution going on.
-In a video he shows a neighbours home that is half built while showing a woman entering another home and comments on the state of the womans house.
The Next claim was that orphans are living better than the poor here! This one in particular made my blood boil this is a total and utter lie, how dare anyone claim that a child with no family to give them direction and nurture and is totally dependant on workers and the odd non muslims who come take some pictures as if they are in a zoo while patting his head or handing over some old clothes is better off then a family who have the comfort of unconditional love, freedom and the ability to help one another, financially and emotionally. I advise this brother to fear Allah and watch the words he utters because they could be very displeasing to Allah.
I have witnessed the state of orphanages in Morocco, while yes the kids are fed you should ask the workers how many muslims are going in and actually spending time with these kids playing and teaching them sponsoring them to visit and emotionally support them.
They have a prison lifestyle with minimal everything. Young girls are gettings money and clothes from non muslim male tourists ( lets just leave that to your imagination for a second) and no one is giving these young girls the care a mother would, the life education of self-respect the cultural and religious support of becoming a woman. Moroccans do the best they can to support the orphans but as you can see they themself have their own life struggle.
So you now see my thoughts on this issue, I asked the common Moroccan people on my Facebook account how much is the cost of living for 1 weeks worth of food. They all had a different response keeping into account they live in different places ( city, country side or north and south etc) also the size of a family varies.
The agreeing value of food for 2 adults and 1 child ( average family in anyones eyes although id suggest 2 children is more realistic in Morocco) was between 300 to 600 Dirham (£50) a week! Yes, a week and for a poor family who are used to stretching their money and living under the bread line it’s about 100 to 200 dirham a week. Obviously those who are well off would spend much more.
Life Costs in Morocco
- The average wage in Morocco is about 2500 to 4000 dirham a month ( £200-400)( city and village varies but villages are much less)
- Rent of a 2 bedroom flat in a city is 1300 dirham pm (£ 130)
- Water and electricity 80 to 120 dirham pm
- If someone becomes sick a dr visit for a GP is 50 to 100 dirham plus the expense of medicine. (£10 Dr visit)
- Food for the month based upon 2 adults and 1 child is between 300 to 600 dirham (£50)
All the above are average for a larger family prices would be higher. Most Moroccans reside at home until married so their home would consist of more than 2 adults and 1 child.
If you consider someone who makes 3000 dirham a month, after rent if he paid 1100 pm and food of 300 dirham a week he would only have 700 dirham left for his water, gas, electric, and other expenses like nappies, clothes, petrol, etc
These brothers have made false claims either knowingly or unknowingly and the reality is that although Morocco is a 3rd world country it is a very poor one and the general people struggle a lot to live.
Its more expensive to live in Morocco then Europe and the monthly income is less then Europe! So before you complain about being broke and not having things and how expensive your life is consider the fact that you have many things for free that others dont and you have a better paid job and cheaper living then the poor!
So to those who are collecting sadaqah, zakah and fidya I advise you to fear Allah and don’t mock those poor people with such an insulting bag of flour and lentils and then pat others on the back saying they fed a family for a whole month because wallahi its wrong, it’s a lie and its very demeaning. I refuse to allow anyone to take advantage of the poor, especially the poor in the country I live who are closer to me then my family due to our bond of laa illaha illa Allah!
Those brothers who are handing out food, do you live on a bag of flour, cooking oil, salt, sugar and lentils for a whole month??? tell me, please reply to me and tell me is this how you live? I know it’s not so how dare you insult our brothers and sisters like this and misguide those donors!
People here drink flour in water because its cheaper than making bread, they put cooking oil in their soup to fill their stomach because its cheaper. So when you hand these things to them it’s as if your saying, ‘ I don’t give a damn about how poor you are and you can continue to live likes this’
This isn’t an issue of they should be grateful to receive anything, no we are Muslim and every Muslim has the right Allah gave them to live as the standard in their country, so while flour, lentils and all that are a standard so is meat, fruit, vegetables, milk, yoghurt, and the normal cooking ingredients.
That group of brothers I saw have done what appears to be some amazing work in other places and I give them the benefit of the doubt to some extent because of that but its upon you who donate to ask what will be purchased and to pressure these people to buy what is normal for those in their country to eat.
I was given money to purchase some food for the poor at the begining of Ramadan and to be honest considering the amount of discounts in the big shops plus the prices of purchasing lentils etc from the smaller private local shops there is no way that bag cost £16.
May Allah guide us to what pleases Him and make us of those who fear and obey Him Ameen