Palestinian orphans perform Umrah thanks to UK charity

Friday, January 10, 2020

A group of Palestinian orphans from Jerusalem left their country for the first time to go on a holy pilgrimage thanks to a UK charity.

Two coachloads with 80 orphans headed to Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah. The youngsters were accompanied by staff and volunteers from the Birmingham-based charity Islamic Help.

A further 450 Palestinian orphans from Jordan will be making the same pilgrimage next month as part of Islamic Help’s 'Umrah for Orphans' programme.

Since its launch in 2015, more than 2,200 Palestinian orphans – boys, girls and disabled - along with their guardians and widowed mothers have made the pilgrimage. During their time in Makkah and Medina, the children perform the rites of Umrah including circling the Ka’aba and visiting the Mosque of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in Medina.

Supporters of the charity have sponsored each child for Umrah.

A spokesman for Islamic Help said the programme was designed to aid the children’s development by meeting their psycho-social needs.

He said, “Life for these children in Jerusalem can be unbearable at times given the political and social circumstances, while the Palestinian population in Jordan faces severe socio-economic conditions because they are still classified as refugees.”

“Umrah for Orphans is an opportunity for them to realise that they are not alone but part of a global family that supports them. We already meet many of their essential needs through our orphan sponsorship programme and Umrah for Orphans has been designed to cater for their psycho-social needs and help them develop psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

“Many who have already been on the journey have described it as a life-changing experience that they might otherwise never get to enjoy.”