Amid food shortages among the poorest and most vulnerable in Nigeria as Ramadan comes to an end for the majority Muslim population, Chabad Lubavitch of Nigeria has launched its annual food drive to distribute 250,000 meals in five Nigerian cities.

Partnering with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, the food drive will see visits to small villages and wherever locals gather, offering direct and real help to the population when and where it is needed.

Since their arrival in Abuja in 2011, Rabbi Israel and Haya Uzan have directed Chabad of Nigeria and also sought to help the local community. Several years later, the Uzans invited Rabbi Mendy and Mazal Sternbach to join their team, further growing the Jewish center’s impact and effect.

Among their programs, Chabad Lubavitch of Nigeria established a humanitarian focused effort called ChabadAid. In the past year during the coronavirus pandemic, they stepped up their activities to assist underserved segments of the population.

“For us as Jews living in Nigeria, while we don’t observe Ramadan, we recognize that this month many people are fasting and feasting, which brings unique challenges to many of Nigeria’s poorest,” said Uzan. “That’s why we’ve created this initiative—to reach out to our Muslim friends and neighbors who need it most during these troubled times, and what can be a financially challenging time of year.”

Children get their eyes tested by doctors from the College of Medicine at the University of Lagos in Nigeria. Credit: Chabad of Nigeria.

The organization offers a broad slate well-developed range of services and programs, including revitalizing schools and recreational facilities to promote a culture of education. Their eyeglasses drive to date has seen more than 2,000 pairs of glasses given to adults and children.

“We are here to help people; it’s as simple as that,” said Sternbach. “For the Jewish community, that means providing for their religious needs. And for anyone in need in Nigeria, that means providing humanitarian aid whenever and wherever we can.”

For more information, visit: chabadaid.org.

Nigerian residents take boxes of food home for the end of Ramadan. Credit: Chabad Lubavitch of Nigeria.

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