Gift of the Givers main location for Qurbani or the ritual slaughtering for Eid al-Adha was West Africa. The countries included Senegal, Mauritania, Niger, Gambia, Mali, Burkino Faso and Nigeria. This is one of the poorest regions in the world and the most overlooked. Constant droughts and harsh terrains make it one of the most difficult regions to travel in and therefore difficult to work in. Livestock is very expensive because of the scarcity of water and therefore Qurbani becomes difficult for the people. GOTG prides itself by having staff and volunteers in these places who work with the local community including important catalysts such as tribal and religious leaders to try and find the best way to distribute the meat to the most needy.
The meat is distributed across a wide variety of people taking in account the local landscape and influences. For example meat is cut up and distributed to poor families, lists of families are made and tokens distributed via which they can collect their meat parcel. Religious or tribal leaders help us to identify people and help us in the distribution. This makes sure that the community is with us. Many people have no means of coming to the distribution points, sometimes cows are slaughtered and taken to far off villages where the meat is distributed to the needy people. These villagers eat meat twice a month. Meat is distributed to Traditional Religious schools across these regions who have thousands of students studying for free from all over Africa.
The main focus of our slaughter is in Medina Baye, Kaolack in Senegal where it has been for the past four years. Meat Distribution is our biggest project in West Africa, with a total expenditure of more than a Million Rands this year alone.
While Mauritanians may not have a vast array of dishes in their cuisine, they know how to cook meat! Meat is a staple in the Mauritanian diet – a diet influenced by traditional nomadic life. All occasions are celebrated with roasted meat and all guests are honoured with a dish of copious amounts of meat.
But the sad reality is that Mauritanians don’t have a lot to eat, let alone a lot of meat. Food is scarce. And expensive (meat is around 85 Rands per kilo). It’s difficult to keep food in the house as most households don’t have a fridge and fresh food spoils quickly under harsh desert temperatures. Many people only eat twice a day and for those lucky enough to keep animals, an evening meal often consists of basi (a type of wheat) and milk.
Alhamdulillah, once again, Gift of the Givers, managing the Qurbani on behalf of our donors, has provided hundreds of people in Mauritania with meat for Eid al-Adha, and this year, we also slaughtered our first camel. We slaughtered and distributed the meat at the following locations.
- We had a list of names of the poorest of the community who we planned to distribute to.
- But out of sheer need, about 200 extra families were present waiting to receive some meat.
- People waited since the morning.
- Some even waited in the sun to get something.
- In the end, we distributed to as many people as possible.
The other distribution points include:
Medina Trois and Baghdad, localities in Nouakchott.
Various Mahdarahs (traditional Islamic schools of learning) outside of the capital.