Friday June 28, 2019

Omer Olcer with his family handing over a cheque to Islamic Relief Interim UK Director Tufail Hussain.

A nine-year-old schoolboy from Hampton has raised £5,315 for the crisis in Yemen through designing, creating and selling Eid cards that have been delivered as far as San Francisco and Dubai.

Omer Olcer, whose parents are of Turkish origin, said he sold around 500 cards in his school, mosques and local businesses. He also spread the word on Whatsapp and Instagram through family members – and got people to buy cards in Dubai, Turkey, San Francisco, Germany as well as throughout the UK.

The money raised will go to Islamic Relief’s Yemen appeal.

Omer said:

‘I wanted to do something to give back for Ramadan because it’s such an important time of sacrifice for Muslims. I researched the biggest problems because there are so many in the world. I learned that Yemen is on the brink of the worst famine in 100 years – with 130 children dying every day.

‘My au pair told me she supports Islamic Relief and I looked into the charity and found out it does a lot of work, especially in Yemen. So I decided to donate the money from the cards to Islamic Relief’s Yemen appeal.

‘It’s important to remember that we’re fortunate and have to help others who aren’t. I’m very lucky and am not suffering – so why should other people suffer? When I grow up I want to be a footballer like Mo Salah, and use my money to give back to charities.’

Yemen is already one of the poorest countries in the region and over 20 million people don’t know where their next meal will come from. Islamic Relief is one of the largest international aid agencies operating in the country, mostly with food assistance and access to medical supplies.

Ayesha Malik, National Community Fundraising Operations Manager at Islamic Relief UK, said:

‘We are so humbled by Omer’s generosity, which there’s no doubt will save many lives. Allah said in the Quran that if you save a life, it is as though you have saved all mankind.’

Omer Olcer with his family handing over a cheque to Islamic Relief Interim UK Director Tufail Hussain.

Ends

Notes to editor

  • Photographs of Omer’s Eid card and him handing a cheque over to Islamic Relief can be found here: https://we.tl/t-iF1g1IftA7
  • Islamic Relief is an independent humanitarian and development organisation, which has been transforming and saving lives across the globe since 1984. We are one of the world’s largest faith-inspired charities, with more than 100 offices delivering programmes to benefit vulnerable people in over 40 countries worldwide. As well as responding to global disasters and emergencies, we also carry out long-term development work with people and communities, regardless of their race, religion or gender.
  • Ramadan is the most important time of the year for Islamic Relief’s fundraising. The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) estimates that each year in Britain during Ramadan, Muslims give an estimated £100 million to charities. Islamic Relief UK alone raised £11 million last year. According to the online fundraising platform, JustGiving, during Ramadan 2017, donations to Islamic charities rose by a massive 487% compared to the previous month.
  • People can donate to Islamic Relief’s Yemen appeal by going to https://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/yemen-emergency-appeal/
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