Muslim Christmas gift

HAY DROP: Port Pirie Muslim Saad Hamid, second from left, and sons Zaki and Owais with Peterborough Rotarians and fellow Islamic helpers.
HAY DROP: Port Pirie Muslim Saad Hamid, second from left, and sons Zaki and Owais with Peterborough Rotarians and fellow Islamic helpers.

Port Pirie Muslims were involved in a drought relief drop of 200 tonnes of hay bales to Peterborough just before Christmas Day.

Muslim Aid Australia with partners Islamic Society of South Australia, Muslim Charitable Foundation, the Deen Family and Helping SA Farmers delivered the bales in their latest round of relief operations.

This was on the back of a similar operation by MAA in November last year in Stanthorpe, Queensland, and continues from last year's multiple rounds of relief work targeting farmers which also involved distribution of more than 130 tonnes of hay bales and hundreds of food hampers in Goondiwindi on the New South Wales-Queensland border.

Director of Helping SA Farmers Lisa Vassallo said she thought the distribution of more than 570 hay bales was the biggest ever to take place in South Australia.

"A big thank you to Muslim Aid Australia for making a difference to the lives of our farmers," she said.

"It is such a fair dinkum gathering of true Aussie spirit seeing so many come together to execute this. What an amazing show of strength and unity in the hay run."

Farmer Simon Schmidt was among the beneficiaries of the drop at Peterborough.

"I have been farming all my life and we have never seen conditions this bad. We just want our situation to be recognised," he said.

"It is disheartening for farmers that when the media do a news flash, they just focus on NSW. I haven't made any income in the past three years despite doing a 70-hour week.

"I am just grateful for what you are doing for the drought."

Muslim Aid Australia's SA operations benefitted 60 severely-affected farming families in Peterborough, Cradock, Sunnybrae, Yongala, Dawson, Cavenagh and Orroroo.

It was a result of combined efforts from donors, truck drivers from Adelaide, Brisbane and Alice Springs, and several community organisations around Australia including the Rotary Club of Peterborough.

The MAA International is one of the oldest charities operating in Australia and accredited by the Foreign Affairs and Trade Department.

Established in Australia in 1989, MAA International is an International and National relief and development agency working to support and assist the world's poorest and neediest communities regardless of race, religion, or nationality.

Its humanitarian aid efforts inside Australia began in 2015 with the mission to advance the Australian community through undertaking smart, sustainable aid and development projects that help those in need.

Projects in Australia include providing emergency relief to farmers, assisting people suffering from extreme financial hardship, poverty and homelessness, supporting youth development and many other charitable activities.