Charity Week students raise record sum of over £1m for Islamic Relief

Students across the UK and overseas have raised the record-breaking sum of over £1m for Charity Week – by far the largest annual amount in the Week’s 13-year history.

The students raised a total of £1,057,220.12, which will be used by Islamic Relief to provide aid and assistance to vulnerable children in Bangladesh, Gaza, Syria and the UK.

This year’s Charity Week, which ran from 24 to 30 October, saw thousands of students fundraise in more than 200 universities, schools, colleges, youth groups and businesses across the UK, Canada, Germany, Qatar, the United States and Australia.

The volunteers raised the money by organising a wide range of activities including mountain climbs, bake sales, football tournaments, fashion shows, dinners, street collections and even fundraising auctions.

The record-breaking sum, which brought together the totals raised in London, the UK and internationally, was revealed on Sunday 27 November during Islamic Relief’s International Annual Dinner at the Marriott Hotel in London, which was attended by around 450 guests from across the UK and from overseas.

Imran Madden, UK Director of Islamic Relief, said:

“We want to thank the thousands of students and volunteers across the UK and around the world who have given their time and energy to fundraise for Islamic Relief’s Charity Week Campaign.

“This is a fantastic achievement. The need for the work Charity Week helps to fund is greater than ever and we are grateful to all of the students and volunteers who have worked so hard to achieve so much for those who have so little.”

Ahmed Shaikh, International Charity Week Director, added:

“This year we witnessed thousands of Muslim Youth stand up together in Charity Week 2016 and decide to make a difference for orphans and needy children suffering in Gaza, Syria, Bangladesh and those stranded around the world.

“Today in London we witnessed hundreds of students from around the world come together to celebrate an achievement that’ll make a dent in history. Today we announce that the united efforts of Muslim youth volunteers spanning from Dundee to Doha and Sydney to San Francisco made it possible for us to raise over a MILLION POUNDS! SubhanAllah (Praise be to God).

“This is a huge achievement from the volunteers and staff at Islamic Relief, without whom none of this would be possible. We use this landmark not as a chance to stop and look back to reflect on what is done, but instead as an opportunity to look forward and see what really is possible when we unite.

“We will continue to work tirelessly for this cause and we will ensure that we continue to answer the call of those orphans and needy children who rely on our unity.”

Naveed Khan is a fourth-year medical student at King’s College, London who is also National Director of Charity Week UK. Recently named in the London Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list in the Equality Champions category as one of the city’s most influential people, he said:

“My favourite thing about Charity Week is seeing students across the world invest their time into a cause so much bigger than themselves. We have seen the phenomenal results of what can happen when our efforts come together and it reminds me of the Hadith: The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind [Daraqutni, Hasan]. But as volunteers, the experience that we gain from this work is also priceless.”

As part of Charity Week, students choose where the money goes to by selecting the Islamic Relief projects to benefit from the proceeds. This year the money is going to the Alternative Orphan Sponsorship Programme in Bangladesh, the repair and refurbishment of an education training centre in Gaza, free healthcare resources and support for children in Syria, and fostering and supporting child refugees when they come to the UK.

 

Charity Week, an Islamic Relief initiative set up by students and volunteers in 2003, has raised over £6m for orphans and children worldwide. The Week is built upon a vision of inspiring young Muslims to act together to raise money in support of vulnerable orphans and children across the world.

The first official Charity Week took place in 2004, with 20 University Islamic Societies (ISOCs) in the UK taking part. Since then it has spread overseas to Australia, Canada, Germany, Qatar and the United States.

Charity Week has funded more than 35 projects worldwide and all projects chosen involve helping orphans and needy children in different countries each year. This year’s four Charity Week projects are:

  • From poverty to self-sufficiency in four years

In Bangladesh Charity Week funds will go towards our innovative Alternative Orphan Sponsorship Programme, which aims to make the families of vulnerable children self-sufficient within four years. This is done by providing guardians with the skills and resources needed to create a sustainable source of income, as well as paying for orphans to attend school so that entire families finally have a chance of breaking the cycle of poverty. The food and healthcare needs of the children are also catered for by this project.

  • Addressing educational needs in Gaza

With an educational system unable to meet demand and young people dropping out of vocational training courses to look for jobs, another Charity Week-funded project in Gaza will repair, refurbish and equip a training centre to provide vocational training for hundreds of young people aged 13 to 16 for years to come.

  • Free healthcare for Syrian children

In northern Syria Charity Week funds will help provide free healthcare for thousands of children by supplying drugs and equipment to paediatric healthcare facilities. The project is focusing on Aleppo, Hama and Idlib, where there is a desperate need for medical supplies.

  • Supporting child refugees

More than five million people have fled Syria since the conflict began in 2011, and child refugees are among the most vulnerable of these. Child refugees will be helped in three ways:

  1. Enabling those with relatives in the UK to connect with them;
  2. Supporting non-Muslim fostering families so that they are able to raise Muslim children, by providing support and information on how to do so; and
  3. Encouraging Muslim families to foster children.
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