ANY ADVANCE ON £3,000 FOR A BANANA?
Muslim students hope to raise more than £1 million for this year’s Charity Week
22nd-28th October 2018 CHARITY WEEK
It sounds like madness but last year a banana was sold for £3,000 in an auction as part of the annual Charity Week mainly run by student Islamic Societies.
Charity Week takes place between 22-28 October this year and involves mainly Muslim students up and down the country donating their time, energy and goodwill to raise money for Islamic Relief. Last year £1 million was raised and we hope to smash that figure this year.
A banana was first auctioned at UCL in 2012 and fetched £150. This has now became an annual event at UCL raising more and more money each year and is being replicated by other universities across the country.
Ahsan Zaman, a voluntary organiser of Charity Week, said:
“All of our volunteers have worked extremely hard and are ready and raring to go. We can’t wait to get started and to get out there sumo wrestling, jungle running or selling bananas. It’s great fun but there’s also a competitive edge. Forget the Oxford and Cambridge boat race. It’s which university will sell the most expensive banana?! We’re very excited and hopeful of beating last year’s figure of £1 million pounds.”
But it’s not just about the fund-raising, it’s also about how young Muslims are working together with other Muslims and non-Muslims doing something good for their local community.
One such example is in Bradford, named early this year as the worst hot spot in the country for fly tipping. Students at Bradford University are rolling up their sleeves, teaming up with the local council and doing a community litter pick in one of the most deprived areas of the city.
Dr Wajid Akhter, formerly a volunteer for Islamic Relief, founded Charity Week and says:
“Charity Week isn’t just a fundraising initiative. There are many of those around. Instead, in an age of increasing polarisation, mistrust and conflict, Charity Week is a practical example of what happens when people decide that they will put aside their differences and work together to build a better, more hopeful world.”
Charity Week began as an annual volunteer-led campaign launched by a group of students in London back in 2003. Over the years it has raised over six million pounds!
Students and volunteers put a lot of effort into coming up with new, fun and engaging events for people to get involved with. At Keele University, lecturers are lining up to take part in a sumo wrestling knockout contest. Other events across the country include jungle fun runs, food challenges, murder mystery evenings and more.
The volunteers put in a big effort but many gain something for themselves. For example, Asiyana Nargolia, who recently graduated said that she would never have got through university if it wasn’t for Charity Week. She suffered from depression and almost gave up. Throwing herself into Charity Week helped to pull her through and gave her a purpose in life. She is now leading on building up Charity Week events around the world which are now taking place in Canada, Qatar, Germany, USA, Australia and South Africa.
And it’s not just volunteers and students getting involved, some restaurants are also taking part, donating up to 50% of their profits during Charity Week to Islamic Relief.
All the money raised during Charity Week, goes towards supporting children’s projects run by Islamic Relief in the UK and around the world. The projects are wide and varied and include building schools in Mali, refurbishing orphanages in Syria and helping children to go school in Afghanistan.
Events are taking place across all the major cities London, Bradford, Leicester, Glasgow, Manchester and elsewhere in the UK. These include:
Sumo wrestling – Stoke-on-Trent.
Mountain climbing – Wales (with people taking part from the North of England, the Midlands, Scotland and Wales itself).
Community litter picking – Bradford, Yorkshire.
Fundraising dinners – Nationwide
Cake auctions – Nationwide
Quiz nights – Nationwide
Note to Media:
Charity Week is one of Islamic Relief’s most exciting campaigns, with thousands of students participating. Over 135,000 orphans and children have received support as a result of the campaign in the last 14 years.
So far, Islamic Relief have funded sustainable development projects in Chad, Niger and Mali and we have also supported schools and orphans in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Gaza, Malawi and Kenya.
Islamic Relief is an independent humanitarian and development organisation, with an active presence in over 40 countries across the globe, including the UK. Since 1984 we have saved and transformed the lives of over 117 million people. By responding to disasters, rebuilding lives and preparing people in case disaster strikes – we save lives before they are lost.
We also promote sustainable economic and social development by working with local communities – regardless of race, religion or gender.
Inspired by our faith, we campaign against a range of issues including the increasing impact of climate change, gender-based violence and war and conflict worldwide.