Thousands of students across the UK and overseas are embarking on a week of activities to raise funds for children across the world for international charity Islamic Relief.
Charity Week takes place between 21-27 October this year and involves student Islamic Societies up and down the country donating their time, energy and goodwill to raise money for Islamic Relief. People are taking part in various fun events including banana auctions, sumo wrestling and football tournaments.
A banana was first auctioned at University College London (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.
This year, ahead of Charity Week, Islamic Relief launched a video game, called Virtue Reality. It aims to engage the youth, especially volunteer teams across the world that take part in Charity Week every year. Through the game students will get a better understanding of the work that Islamic Relief undertakes whilst delivering lifesaving projects.
The charity is also calling on people to help raise money in a fun way by signing up and committing to 5K My Way. This involves fulfilling a five kilometre pledge in whatever way they choose. This could be from the comfort of their home, the gym, local park or by joining charity week at one of its six flagship events across the country.
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 seven million pounds.
Safwan Umar, a voluntary organiser of Charity Week, said:
“Seeing volunteers from all over the world is a beautiful sight to see. They’ve been planning tirelessly over the past few months to put on a Charity Week full of amazing events to bring people together locally who wouldn’t usually come together.
“Whether it’s events where bananas and cakes are auctioned for thousands of pounds to infinity stone mazes full of puzzles to a videogame where you can understand the process of aid delivery, there’s truly something for everyone at Charity Week. These local acts of unity at over 200 institutions build to create a worldwide buzz of unity which only comes around once a year through Charity Week.”
There is also a spiritual side to the Week. Dr Wajid Akhter, formerly a volunteer for Islamic Relief, who founded Charity Week said:
“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.”
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.
Notes 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 15 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 a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.
- Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo. Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.