How Covid-19 is affecting child sponsorship during Ramadan

12 May 2021

ActionAid's child sponsorship officers who work with children and local communities around the world discuss how Ramadan is different during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how child sponsorship this month and beyond help children and their families. 

34-year-old Robaba is washing her children's hands and training them in washing techniques
34-year-old Robaba is washing her children's hands and training them in washing techniques

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of children around the world. This Ramadan, our child sponsorship officers, Lina from ActionAid Palestine, Noria from ActionAid Afghanistan, Monika from ActionAid Bangladesh, and Mamie from ActionAid the Gambia are reflecting on how children and communities are coping with the global pandemic and why sponsorship can save lives. 

Covid-19 and food shortages affecting children around the world

Noria Abbasi, ActionAid Afghanistan: Fortunately, the lockdown has ended in Afghanistan, but many low-income and daily-wage workers have been seriously affected by Covid-19 and the lockdown. They have lost their jobs and income, and whole families, including children, are struggling this Ramadan. Children in Afghanistan are grappling with lots of challenges from lack of food to shelter, health care, and education right now.

The banning of weekly markets has also affected farmers' livelihoods leaving families and children vulnerable and without food this Ramadan. 

Monika Biswas, ActionAid Bangladesh: This Ramadan, as millions of Muslims break their fast at sunset every day, some families and children face a never-ending fast. There’s nothing for them to eat before or after sunset as they struggle with the pandemic. 

Mamie Ceesay, ActionAid the Gambia:  The pandemic has overshadowed the usual Ramadan celebrations. The Gambia is dependent on imports of rice, sugar, cooking oil, and several other products which have been affected by the pandemic and can be expensive to buy. The banning of weekly markets has also affected farmers' livelihoods leaving families and children vulnerable and without food this Ramadan. 


Celebrating Ramadan rituals during the Covid-19 pandemic

Lina Abuaisheh, ActionAid Palestine: During Ramadan, when the sun sets, everyone sits at the table together to eat 'Iftar', where you break your fast, usually with your family or friends. The very essence of Ramadan lies in those gatherings. Unfortunately, for two years now, children have not been able to enjoy collective Iftars with their loved ones because of the pandemic.

Children have also not able to enjoy the rituals of this holy month such as going to the mosque with their friends to pray together or enjoying Ramadan decorations in the streets.

Children and families usually look forward to the daily breaking of the fast together, but many Iftar meals have not been shared events this year."

Monika Biswas, Bangladesh:  Before the shock of last year's coronavirus pandemic had even subsided, a second wave of the virus plunged our country into a catastrophe. So, like last year, this year Ramadan is most certainly a less festive time. Children and families usually look forward to the daily breaking of the fast together, but many Iftar meals have not been shared events this year.

Child sponsorship helps both children and their communities during the pandemic

Noria Abbasi, ActionAid Afghanistan: Our child sponsors have helped many children to follow their dreams and put smiles on their faces. They have helped light a candle in so many dark houses where people do not have access to basic healthcare, food, water and where children do not go to school.

With communities fighting the pandemic we urge our supporters to give this Ramadan by sponsoring a child today. You will not only reap the rewards of this act, but you will help ensure children, their families, and their communities have food to eat and continue their education through these difficult times.

Children already suffering from a protracted conflict and poverty, have been further burdened by the economic, social, and psychological impact of the pandemic."

Lina Abuaisheh, ActionAid Palestine: In the Occupied Palestinian territory, the current pandemic has worsened the situation for the communities we work with. Children already suffering from a protracted conflict and poverty, have been further burdened by the economic, social, and psychological impact of the pandemic.

Children are an integral part of our work, and we build a strong foundation for them to ensure future success and prosperity for them and their communities. This can be achieved with your help and continuous support through child sponsorship especially in Ramadan, where we learn the value of giving.

How you can help

Sponsor a child this Ramadan and help us provide year-round support to families and children in crisis.

The UK Government will match up to three of your monthly gifts pound for pound ensuring your generosity can go twice as far.

If you sponsor a child from Cambodia (or choose ‘Where the need is greatest') before 4th June, your donations will be matched for up to three months by the UK Government, meaning your gift will go even further. If you choose to sponsor a child from another country, 20% of your donations are eligible to be matched. 

Together we can provide life-saving aid and sustainable support to those who need it most.

Sponsor a child this Ramadan