Zakat foundation empowers the poor in Ekiti

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THE Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) has presented cash and working tools to some underprivileged people in Ekiti State for them to engage in small scale businesses and cater for their needs.

Items donated were, sewing machines, filing machine for shoemakers, generators, gas cookers, among others.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju, during the presentation in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, underscored the need for groups and well-to-do individuals to reach out to the society’s poor and take more people out of poverty.

He urged governments at all levels to take urgent steps towards providing employment opportunities for the teeming youths and ending poverty, saying that this was the way only way the country could overcome the current challenges of insecurity, crime and violent agitations which had impeded peaceful coexistence and national development.

According to him, the foundation is a charitable organisation that was set up to propagate one of the five pillars of Islam, zakat, which requires the rich to give certain percentage of their annual profits to the needy.

He explained that the group had successfully reached out to over 100,000 persons through the disbursement of about N1 billion.

Olagunju said: “The aim of this programme is to assist the beneficiaries with start-up capital and tools that they could use for trading towards making ends meet and catering for their immediate families.

“It is Allah’s commandment that wealthy individuals in the society must divide their gains into 40 places and give out one part to people who are underprivileged.

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“We have been transparent with the procedure. We reach out to people based on recommendations from their imams and pastors because the programme has nothing to do with religion.”

He said if people could embrace cheerful giving to the needy, poverty would be reduced and the society would be free of crime and bitterness which he said was a threat to the unity of the country.

“No one has supported the work of Allah and regretted. Rather their wealth would continue to boom because Allah will bless the person the more. You don’t need to have so plenty before you give, little drops of water make an ocean,” Olagunju said.

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