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niger black history month

Black History Month: #ProudToBe from Niger

Islamic Relief has been a household name around the world since 1984. During that time, we’ve been working with communities to lift people out of poverty and help transform the lives of millions by providing them with their basic rights.

None of it would be possible without the support of our generous donors around the world, and the thousands of our colleagues globally who have committed their lives to doing this incredible work.

An integral part of the legacy we’ve been able to build over these 37 years, has been our amazing people on the ground who have joined us for this journey.

So, we’re reaching out to our colleagues in the field to ask them about what inspires them to do the work that they do, how they came to join what is now a global humanitarian organisation and what makes them proud to be a part of the communities at the heart of their work.

Part of ensuring that the team we’ve built genuinely works to serve those in need, is making certain that our colleagues in the field are local experts, who understand how best to serve the communities they themselves are part of. It is guaranteeing, that when aid is provided, the dignity of our sisters and brothers around the world is sustained and that we’re able to provide the best of care.

Localisation is essential to our life-saving work, and these are just some of our incredible colleagues in Niger who make it possible. Sharing what makes them #proudtobe from Niger, are Mahamun and Rahmatu Zaatu:

niger staff black history month

Mahamun (left) and Rahmatu Zaatu (right), staff at Islamic Relief NigerSalaam!

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourselves and how you came to work at Islamic Relief?




My name is Mahaman, and I have been working in IT as well as the media officer.

Rahmatu Zaatu:

I joined Islamic Relief in 2007 and I am now the protection and inclusion officer.


I’m an electrical engineer, and I graduated from the UI university of Ibadan, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

I joined Islamic Relief in September 2014 to work in IT for Islamic Relief Niger. Prior to Islamic Relief I worked in the private sector, with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in biometric solutions for national identity cards as a network administrator.

Rahmatu Zaatu:

I am engineer in forestry, and I did my studies in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

I enjoy working for Islamic Relief because it is a humanitarian NGO, and I like their approach towards children, persons with disabilities, men, women, and elders.


Q: What parts of your work are you most proud of?


What has really impressed me during my time with Islamic Relief, is what’s been changed. A thoroughly degraded land is now a forest.

Now, the land is green. There is an abundance of trees, and animals have grass to graze. So, thank you.

Rahmatu Zaatu:

It is a pleasure for me to serve people, especially orphans who have lost their parents.

During Ramadan and Qurbani, Islamic Relief distribute food and meat packets for them, and they are very happy to receive these packets. Without Islamic Relief, some orphan families would not be able to break their fast. Thank you.


Q: What makes you #proudtobe a part of the community you’re helping to uplift?


I come from the Hausa and Kanuri ethnic groups. Hausa is the most widely spoken African language along with Swahili.

I’m Muslim like the majority of Hausa and other communities of Niger, and I’m infinitely grateful to Allah for that. I’m proud to be part of African people with legendary traditions of hospitality, humanity and resilience despite hardship and prejudices against Black people all over the world.

I’m happy to be a Niger citizen, it’s a country of peace, security and cohesion despite the hardship and the precarity at the edge of the country. In Niger, all the people are related to each other no matter your ethnic origin. That is our source of pride.

What makes me happy in our humanitarian work is to see smiling faces at our projects. One particularly incident was that of a mother, who came desperate to our Nutritional Recovery Centre, and had her baby treated.


Save a child’s life today by donating to our Orphans and Children appeal here. 

Donate to Islamic Relief today and help save lives.


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