For the fifth year, I am excited to share with you that the Zakat Foundation of America has partnered again with the Bayanihan Foundation and sponsored the distribution of hundreds of food packages and providing much-needed food relief to over 1,000 men, women and children during the holy month of Ramadan. The Zakat Foundation of America, is an international charity organization that helps generous and caring people and reaching out to those in need.
In 2013, the Zakat foundation was also very generous in donating emergency relief goods to the Philippines and helped thousands of families affected by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons in recorded history ever to hit landfall.
My uncle Vic Saavedra, my aunt Luz Saavedra, the local Imam Saidali Gandamra and many local community members volunteered to make it possible the distribution of food packages containing rice, sardines, eggs, powdered milk, soap, pencils and paper for Filipino Muslim families and children.
Uncle Vic, Aunt Luz and many volunteers donated their time in shopping, packaging and distributing over 300 gift packs for Filipino Muslim families that live at or below poverty in Mindanao. They distributed the food packages to three different villages and remote areas around Iligan City, Mindanao, Philippines. Many families in the area have anticipated these food packages since they have grown in popularity over the years (see earlier post on food packages in 2010 and 2011).
The continued sharing of food packages among Christians and Muslims in Iligan have created the unintended effect of goodwill, friendship and the slow earning of trust among Filipinos of different faiths. I agree that these food packages will not solve the deep divide between Christians and Muslims in the island of Mindanao nor heal the deep wounds that are hindering long-lasting peace in the island. However, I’m hopeful that these food packages are a small step to healing and that Filipino Christians giving packages to needy Filipino Muslims is moving us closer to peace.