Poverty stricken Sri Lankan family in UAE receives public assistance

The generosity of UAE residents has come as a blessing for a Sri Lankan family with 10 children that is desperately looking for a roof over their heads, Khaleej Times reported.

Barely 24 hours after Khaleej Times highlighted the plight of Imamudeen Meera Lebbe, 52, his wife Sithy Fazila, 45, and their 10 children aged six to 20, who came on a visit to the UAE last September, and have since been living on the edge of poverty, their situation has changed for the better. This newspaper has been inundated with calls and e-mails from charity organisations, businessmen and readers offering to help the family.

Lebbe had decided to sell his belongings in Sri Lanka and relocate to the UAE after he was mocked and taunted for fathering 10 children. People refused to rent him a house because of the size of his family. Khaleej Times wrote of his plight last week, and the family’s fortunes changed overnight as Dar Al Ber society, a philanthropic and charitable organsiation, has come forward to support them.

“We will take care of the whole family and will provide them with what they need to have a decent life in the UAE,” an official at the Society told this paper.

On reading about the family of 12 staying in two-room accommodation in a shared villa near Al Mamzar Beach on the Dubai-Sharjah border, Indian businessman and chairman of Danube group, Rizwan Sajan has also offered free housing for Lebbe. “I am ready to give them an apartment in Ajman for a few months. We will provide all necessary amenities including furniture, internet connection and provisions,” Sajan told Khaleej Times.

When Khaleej Times broke the news to Lebbe, an overjoyed father said he is “forever thankful to the UAE and its leaders.”

“I have no words to express my gratitude. I gave up everything and came to the UAE because of my deep trust in this country and the generosity it has shown to millions of destitute people around the world. I am overwhelmed by this response and I bow my head in front of Allah, my creator and protector,” Lebbe said breaking down in tears.

“When I decided to leave Sri Lanka and took a flight to the UAE, I knew I was coming to a land that never turns away people in need. I am glad that I took refuge in this country,” he said.

When Khaleej Times met the family, Lebbe claimed he was working as a bus driver in Sri Lanka and he chose to sell all his belongings in his native place to relocate to the UAE.

“I have been living all my life in rented homes, but I was able to find accommodation with ease until I had my sixth child. But as my family grew, it has become impossible to find a place to live. Allah gave me these wonderful children and I am willing to work hard to feed and take care of them,” said Lebbe.

He said he is hoping that he and his two elder children will be able to find work and start a new life in the UAE.