• Esmahan Abdulla

Small Team, Big Moves

Michigan-based trio tap their network to make a difference in four countries


A small non-profit has launched projects in four countries: Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, and the US. They have zero administrative fees and strive to evenly serve Yemen on both sides of the north/south border.


Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid Relief Foundation (KBK) is proof that you do not have to be a large nonprofit to change lives.


Bushra Abuzeid, Megan Agemy, and Shayma Mustafa founded KBK in 2018. The group is inspired by the character of Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), who was known for distributing her riches to help the poor. They were all doing work in the community when Shayma suggested they pool their resources for greater impact. They organized, brought their networks together, and created KBK.


Many nonprofits headquartered on one side of the border of Yemen struggle to do work on the opposite side due to geopolitical conflict. KBK is not headquartered in Yemen and finds itself in a unique position. “We are lucky enough to have trusted contacts on both sides of the border, so we try our best to serve both areas to the best of our capacity.”, explains Megan Agemy.


Every dollar and every riyal (Yemeni currency) is diligently tracked from the hands of donors to the hands of recipients. Everything in between, the transaction fees, the contacts on the ground doing the work, and any overhead costs do not come out of donations. This is how they can promise 0% administrative fees.


 
“We are lucky enough to have trusted contacts on both sides of the border, so we try our best to serve both areas to the best of our capacity.” - Megan Agemy

 


Yemen Projects


A thirsty child in the US takes a few steps to the kitchen, reaches for the tap, and fills a glass with clear cold water. After a few satisfying sips, the remaining, seemingly disposable water, is poured down the drain.


In Yemen, 18 million people (50% of the population) have limited or no access to safe drinking water. This has created a web of problems that requires a separate article to explain. However, one of the deadly problems it creates is Cholera/AWD (Acute Watery Diarrhea). It has claimed thousands of lives since the outbreak in 2017 and the upsurge in the following years. Children are the most vulnerable(1).

It makes sense that KBK has focused its largest project on water accessibility. They operate 15 water tanks in Yemen that provide water for up to 20 families a week, per village. People line up in hopes of getting enough water to last them through the week. KBK also purchased a water truck that distributes water in areas that do not have water tanks. Typically, families in these areas face major obstacles to accessing clean water. For example, most have to walk miles to the nearest water tank available. For those connected to a piped water network, the water is either shut off or simply runs out before it reaches their homes.


KBK has other projects in Yemen, like a campaign to provide meat to families bi-weekly, distributing food to needy families (most of which are women and orphans), and distributing blankets. They recently raised funds to provide food for over 600 families during the month of

Ramadan, 2021.



Beyond Yemen


While KBK does excellent work in Yemen, Yemen is not their only focus. They also have projects in Pakistan, Iraq, and here in the US. Their primary focus is helping local women in Michigan who are in crisis. They help women with housing; women who may be struggling to pay their rent, pay their security deposits, or those needing furniture or food. The team at KBK also partnered with the ICD to help get much-needed food to vulnerable populations who cannot drive to the food pantry.


Talking with Megan Agemy, it is evident that KBK has a clear vision. They hope to continue their work with the most vulnerable populations focusing on both local and international needs. In the future, KBK hopes to establish a safe, temporary home for local women and their children who are either at risk for abuse or homelessness. Internationally, other ambitions include projects to provide families with ongoing work to help them sustain themselves. “At the end of the day, whether we reach those goals or not, we are satisfied just knowing we helped impact even one person’s life”, says Agemy.


It is safe to say, they have succeeded.


Lend a hand


KBK has done a lot with very little. Imagine what they can accomplish with more. Here’s how you can help.


  1. Donate: Visit their site to donate knowing that 100% of the proceeds go to recipients.

  2. Volunteer: KBK can use local volunteers in Michigan to help get food and supplies delivered to vulnerable people that do not have transportation. Other volunteer positions are available as well. Sign up at the website or email at kbkrelief@gmail.com for more information.

  3. Follow them on social media and share their projects.

  4. If you’d like to learn about new campaigns, send an email to kbkrelief@gmail.com to get added to their WhatsApp group.




(1) Falling through the cracks: Yemen's forgotten children in a cholera crisis, UNICEF https://www.unicef.org/stories/falling-through-cracks-yemens-forgotten-children-cholera-crisis

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