Widowed At 20 With Two Kids, Sifiya Today Supports 300+ Families | Milaap
Widowed At 20 With Two Kids, Sifiya Today Supports 300+ Families
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    Chithal Foundation

    from Kerala


Social worker Sifiya Haneef recently was conferred with the Neerja Bhanot Award-2018 for her extraordinary work towards uplifting widows and helping hundreds of families.

She was only 20 when she became a widow, and by then, a mother of two. "I wanted to continue studying and begin to earn so I could support my sons and myself," she says. But the idea was alien to her family who was afraid that a young widowed girl working would get people talking. She continues, "They wanted me to remarry or stay at home.” 

So, she got on the phone with a few friends in Bengaluru and took the next bus to the city with her youngest son and the promise of a new job. Bengaluru was her last resort to put her life back together. But the friends who once promised to help her, suddenly cut her calls. Sifiya had nowhere else to turn to, until a woman she’d call ‘paati’ came to her rescue, took her home, fed her and her hungry child.
Sifiya and Paati

After a few months Sifiya returned home. Sifiya went on to complete her education while she was doing a part-time job. Today she is pursuing MSW and works as a teacher.

However this time, she had learnt an important lesson about helping others who suffer like her. She says, "I started thinking about other widows, those who don't have the means or the education to even struggle through. I decided that I would use a portion of my salary to help as many of them as I could.”

She helps them by offering food, clothes, and money on a monthly basis. Along the way, she found many more in need, sick mothers, kids, elderly people, and cancer patients, among others. 

Today, Sifiya helps over 300 families by providing homes, constructing toilets in colonies, distributing medicines, giving pension to widows in distress.

But for this, she needs your support to be able to continue helping these families in need.

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