SubhanAllah, it’s that time of year again… Yep, we’re at the end of another year! And what a year it’s been! As ever, it’s been a busy 12 months at Islamic Relief and as per usual you’ve helped make sure that 2019 was a year of successes and saving lives!
So as we wave goodbye to 2019 and say a big hello to 2020 (a new decade!), here are 13 fantastic highlights from the last twelve months here at Islamic Relief.
1. You helped make an award-winning Ramadan one to remember
Ramadan is a special time of heightened spirituality and giving and this year during Ramadan, you gave more than ever before! What’s more, thanks to the £2 million match funding from the UK Government for our Ramadan appeal, our work was able to go even further. Supporting farmers in drought-stricken Ethiopia through new innovative technology, we enabled farmers to ensure their families and livestock can access water during periods of drought. SubhanAllah!
If that wasn’t enough, at this year’s Third Sector Awards our 2018 Ramadan campaign also won the Marketing Campaign of the Year! Such fantastic results!
2. Green Lane Mosque raise millions for our life-saving work!
This year we were proud to be the charity partner for Green Lane Mosque to further the reach of our work around the world. Alhamdulillah, with a mammoth fundraising effort, Taskforce GLM (the charity arm of Green Lane Mosque) raised over £2 million to support our work in multiple countries including Myanmar, Syria and Yemen.
From implementing water filtration systems in Pakistan to delivering life-saving food aid in Lebanon, the efforts of Taskforce GLM have enabled Islamic Relief teams to reach thousands of individuals who we simply could not have without their support. Thank you Taskforce GLM and Green Lane Mosque!
3. Asma Khan cooked up a storm with Syrian refugees
This year we were delighted to work with celebrity chef Asma Khan who travelled with us to Jordan to meet a group of Syrian women who have fled conflict in their home country.
Together, this amazing group of women whipped up a range of delicious food to highlight the plight of Syrian families across the Middle East and the importance of ensuring that no one goes hungry.
Alhamdulillah, we showed the world that refugees matter!
4. Technology saved the day!
In partnership with Ultimatum Games, we launched a groundbreaking mobile videogame which you helped make a great success! Virtue Reality is the first game of its kind, putting you front and centre of our work, showing how we save and transform lives every day. From building boreholes and creating livelihoods to providing emergency relief in countries such as Syria, Pakistan and Mali, it’s one insightful and addictive game!
Smashing stereotypes of Muslims, the game went global! So do download Virtue Reality – from the AppStore or Google PlayStore – if you haven’t already!
5. You made Charity Week even bigger and better!
SubhanAllah, every year Charity Week goes from strength to strength with even more money being raised to support orphans and vulnerable children across the globe.
This year, you once again rose to the challenge! In fact, you raised a staggering £1,356,505.23! With over 2,000 volunteers and 257 institutions taking to their campuses, local high streets and communities, you made sure that Charity Week 2019 was an amazing success which everyone knew about. Thank you!
6. You joined us on the road with Zain Bhikha!
Global superstar Zain Bhikha joined us on two nationwide tours to help raise funds and to celebrate Zain’s astonishing 25-year career. As a global ambassador for Islamic Relief, we couldn’t be prouder of his work and the support he’s provided Islamic Relief over the years.
Of course, we wanted you to join in the fun! As we toured up and down the country, a staggering 10,000 of you attended our Road Trip and Story Time tours in cities including Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and many more! If that wasn’t enough, with a staggering 19 events across the UK – this was, in fact, our biggest ever tour. Alhamdulillah!
7. You helped to empower women worldwide
By supporting our work, we were able to provide cash grants, income-generating training programmes and specialised community training on gender-based violence (GBV). You also helped us to campaign for government reforms so that we could fight GBV and ensure that women and girls remain safe, secure and protected.
This year, leading Muslim dating site Muzmatch partnered with Islamic Relief to raise funds for our life-saving work empowering vulnerable women across the globe. By trekking 25km across the Peak District, Muzmatch staff raised money to support our ongoing work to tackle GBV in Niger, including combatting end early/forced marriage.
8. Your Qurbani fed people in need here at home
With a shocking 1 in 5 people across the UK living in food poverty, we’ve been working to ensure that your Qurbani helps vulnerable people here at home too.
SubhanAllah, this year your Qurbani reached a staggering 30,000 people across England, Scotland and Wales, providing protein-packed nutrition and a helping hand in their time of need. Insha’Allah, next year we’ll continue to help even more people.
9. You bought thousands of #Cakes4Syria
Who can resist cake…? Well certainly not us! And of course, this year was no different! Our annual #Cakes4Syria campaign was a record-breaking success!!
Thanks to your hard work up and down the country, we sold a staggering 28,275 cakes! In fact, with so many cakes to deliver across the UK, we even had to draft in extra help in the form of YouTuber SuperSaf, who delivered cakes in Leicester. Mmm, chocolatey charity-fuelled fun!
10. You met the challenge over 40 times
It’s no secret that we love a good fundraising challenge and alhamdulillah, we’re never short of support!
This year, you took part in over 40 challenges! Yes, you walked, you ran, and you cycled to help save and transform the lives of vulnerable communities across the globe. From the Marrakesh Half Marathon, Machu Picchu Jungle Trek and Great Scottish Run to the Snowdon Challenge, you raised a staggering £350,000! Such amazing work – thank you!!
11. Your volunteering saved lives!
Here at Islamic Relief, volunteers have always been the life and soul of our work – helping us to raise funds and campaign for change. This year alone, our range of volunteer programmes allowed 100 people to take part in AspIR, CampaignIR, DigitalIR and many more training courses to help develop volunteers’ skills, self-confidence and knowledge of Islamic Relief!
What’s more, with regular events and challenges taking place throughout the year and across the country, a staggering 3,000+ volunteers supported our work – totalling over 25,000 hours of volunteering, subhanAllah! Of course, this year’s annual Life Saver awards once again provided the opportunity to celebrate the great work you’ve been doing!
12. Aerosol Ali made his mark
As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words and with us marking the Day of Innocence to highlight the effect of conflict on innocent civilians, we made sure we sent a loud and clear message about the suffering of men, women and children in conflict zones worldwide.
This year we joined forces with graffiti artist Mohammed “Aerosol” Ali who sprayed a wall owned by the Greenwich mosque to mark the 8th anniversary of the Syrian conflict and capture the spirit of the Syrian refugee children he had met during a visit to Beqaa Valley (Lebanon) which currently hosts around 350,000 refugees. This offered a great opportunity for reflection and remembrance. Thank you Ali and all our supporters!
13. You marched against climate change
With climate change devastating our planet, we’ve been working hard to put climate change on the agenda and ensure that positive steps are taken to address this pressing crisis.
Once again, you joined us in helping to take crucial action and raise critical awareness of this important issue. This year alone, you joined us in lobbying MPs, taking to the streets to protest and helping raise the volume against this global crisis. Putting faith-inspired action on the agenda, we’ve all been working to change narratives, protect the planet and unite globally to help save as many lives as possible. Thank you for your support!
SubhanAllah, what a year! Of course none of this would have been possible without your continued support. Jazakum Allah khair for your time, dedication and generous donations. You truly are lifesavers.
As we now welcome in 2020 and the start of a new decade, let’s commit to transforming and saving even more lives across the globe. Happy New Year from everyone at Islamic Relief!