“This Eid’l Adha, I have something to prepare for my children.”
This was the statement of surprise by Sittie Aina J. Sahibbal, 35, a mother of two living in Brgy. Nalil, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi upon receiving a pack of cow meat during the Eid’l Adha or feast of sacrifice on September 12, 2016.
In Brgy. Nalil, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, majority of the people rely on farming for source of income, while some are tricycle drivers and others have mini sari-sari (assorted) store. Being in rural areas, people in Brgy. Nalil lacks opportunity towards development.
“Here in the province, life is difficult especially when you are illiterate. There is less opportunity to have better life. Like my husband, he has to go in far place to get employed to sustain our family”, says Sittie.
Her husband works as a security guard in a mining company located in an island in Tawi-Tawi which accordingly requires one-day travel to get there.
The family of Sittie can be considered as one of the poor of the poorest. They lived in a small house made of light materials. Their eldest child has only finished high school education and cannot pursue anymore to college due to lack of resources for schooling.
For families like them, special occasions become ordinary. No special food to prepare or even money to spend for outdoors activities.
Even for Eid’l Adha or feast of sacrifice which is one of the significant celebrations in Islam.
“Sa tuwing Eid, pagkatapos ng prayer, uuwi lang po kami sa bahay, wala lang po, ganun lang kasimple” (Every Eid’l Adha, we just go home after the prayer, simple as that), Sittie stated.
“Kaya naman po nagulat talaga ako nang binigyan ako ng taga BDA ng isang supot ng baka, at nagpapasalamat po talaga ako kasi may maipaghahanda na rin ako at pagsasaluhan kami ng mga anak ko”. (That’s why I was really surprised when BDA staff handed me a pack of beef meat, and I was very thankful because and told to myself that I can now prepare something for my children)”, she added.
Sittie’s family is one of the thousands who benefited from the Qurban Program 2016 implemented by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) which purpose is in line with the message of the Eid’l Adha.
Eid’l Adha commemoration includes sacrifice of animal as a symbolic expression that a Muslim can sacrifice anything in order to worship Allaah, comply with His command and give up anything he has for Allaah’s sake.
Every year, BDA implements Qurban Program where cow meats are distributed to selected poor families across the six regions (Central Mindanao, Ranaw, Southern Mindanao, Davao, Zamboang-Peninsula and Zambaonag-Basilan) and two island provinces (Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) of the agency.
BDA targets poor families annually, like that of Sittie’s to be extended with such assistance of meat packs which the recipients are very grateful of.
“We implement Qurban yearly first in observance of the Eid’l Adha which is the time for any Muslim to sacrifice or share blessings to others”, BDA executive director Mohammad S. Yacob said.
He added that “this special occasion allows us to reach out to families in need through the meat we are distributing which for them are very helpful for daily consumption”.
BDA has been implementing the Qurban Program since 2014 with support from Turkey government through various foundations such as the Turkiye Dyanet Vakfi (TDV), Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH) and Ravza Foundation.
This year, a total of 490 cattle were sacrificed and were distributed to 14, 700 number of beneficiaries in various communities across the BDA regions and provinces.