I was a teacher. I had a stable career with a regular income, a beautiful house, a loving husband, a healthy toddler and a baby on the way.
And then one day, everything changed.
My daughter became seriously ill, which meant I had to leave my teaching job. I was pregnant at the time, and even though we knew my husband couldn’t manage the bills alone, we didn’t have a choice. My daughter needed me to stay home and take care of her.
I received £400 in benefits every month, but my monthly expenses were almost four times that. As a last resort, I applied for some credit cards to help me pay our mortgage, bills and living expenses. I was in debt to the tune of £50,000.
Things started to look up when my daughter got better and I landed another teaching job. The problem was that my new role didn’t start for another two months, and I had no way of supporting my family until then.
So I did the only thing I could: I went to NZF and asked them to help me.
I felt humiliated. I was an educated woman who didn’t fit the “profile” of a poor person. But I was poor – even if I didn’t look it.
I thought NZF wouldn’t take me seriously, but after assessing my situation they agreed to cover the cost of my rent until my job started. That extra support stopped me having to take out more loans and adding to my debt.
My Programme Officer also put me in touch with Debt Advice Hub, an organisation that’s dedicated to helping people like me pay off their debt in manageable steps.
Finally, I could imagine a day when I was debt-free again.
NZF’s support was mainly financial, but it had a huge effect on my mental health and spirituality.
My NZF Programme Officer would frequently remind me to seek God’s help and to trust that He would guide me out of my difficulties.
Today, I’m back to full-time teaching and I’m earning a stable income again. Every month, I pay off a small amount of my debt. I’m chipping away at it slowly, and one day soon, I won’t owe anybody anything.
I’ll never forget those two months that NZF took care of my family when all other options were closed to me. Because of your Zakat, me and my husband will eventually find our way to financial freedom.
The National Zakat Foundation uses Zakat to support individuals in a transformative way, so they can be self-sufficient. Stay up-to-date with all our latest insights, stories, research and news – subscribe here for our monthly newsletter.
National Zakat Hotline: 03333 123 123 (Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm, local rates) or apply online apply.nzf.org.uk
This post is based on a true story.