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East Lancs charity builds Syrian village
AN East Lancahire charity has helped raise almost £500,000 to build a self-contained village for victims of conflict in Syria.
Today Zubair Valimulla, Al-Imdaad Foundation UK’s international projects co-ordinator, and Hafez Aboussamad Mulla, the foundation’s UK director, are flying to Syria for the official opening of the village.
They will be joined by the Mayor of Blackburn, Coun Salim Mulla, who will be greeted by a British flag flown in the centre of the village to mark the generosity of UK residents.
Al-Imdaad Foundation has offices in South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, and Jordan, and a UK base in Blackburn.
A combined fundraising effort by the five branches of the charity has generated £440,000 in six months, enough to build the settlement in Tutul village, in Idlib, in the north west of the country.
There are 100 container homes in the village, each accommodating up to 10 residents, as well as a health centre and an education centre. Priority for homes in the village will be given to widows, orphans, the elderly and disabled .
The Foundation fundraised throughout the UK with billboards, TV adverts, and a dedicated website. All efforts were co-ordinated from its Blackburn base.
Once the money had been raised, it took just three months for the village to be built.
The charity has since raised a further £200,000 to pay for one million kgs of flour to be delivered to refugee camps inside Syria, to help tackle malnourishment and starvation in the country. Coun Mulla said: “A fantastic amount of work has been done to put this project in place. They have only been able to do so thanks to the generosity of people all over the UK, including Blackburn.”
Zubair Valimulla said: “It’s going to take time to rebuild Syria, even when the conflict ends. We wanted to think about long-term projects, rather than people living in tents. This is something more sustainable.”
Hafez Mulla added: “We’ve started collecting for second and third villages. A lot of people have been displaced and we’re not going to stop here.”
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