British Muslim charities rise to the challenge
Sunday, January 31st, 2021
194 Muslim charities responded to the pandemic crisis through supporting vulnerable people, opening food banks and helping people who are self-isolated, a report by the Muslim Charities Forum found.
The pandemic and the ensuing lockdown was unexpected and many mosques and charities throughout the country scrambled to prepare ways through which they could support their communities. Needs were identified across the country in towns and cities and charities which would normally focus on international relief and humanitarian disasters began to prepare volunteers for activities in their local areas.
Organisations across the country responded to the needs of their neighbours and communities. The report classifies the organisations into the following categories:
International non-governmental organisations e.g. Islamic Relief UK, World Federation Aid
Non-governmental organisations: National Zakat Foundation, As Suffa Outreach
Mosques: Green Lane Mosque, al Nagashi Mosque and Centre
Cultural/faith sensitive organisations: Eden Burial Fund
Specialist organisations: British Islamic Medical Association, Muslim Youth Helpline
Umbrella organizations: Muslim Charities Forum, Muslim Council of Britain
Family foundations: Aziz Foundation, Cosaraf Foundation
The activities that these organization engaged in included distributing hardship funds, distributing essentials and food for the vulnerable, providing mental health support, supporting NHS staff and key workers, providing burial and bereavement support, bridging the digital divide, distributing PPE and providing an advice service.
The report provides some case studies of what these organisatiosn disd
National Zakat Foundation provided hardship funds to individuals throughout the pandemic and at one point was receiving applications once every fifteen minutes. Islamic Relief dinated half a million pounds towards this fund.
Muslim Charity has been delivering hot meals to individuals who are in self-isolation or those that struggling financially through partnerships with takeaways. Muslim Hands partnered with FareShare to deliver meals across the United Kingdom. Islamic Help has also been providing food to local beneficiaieries in the cities in which they operate.
Mindworks has been offering counsellign and psychotherapy throughout the pandemic. They are able to offer support through a variety of languages.
Ummah Welfare Trust donated one million pounds towards buying PPE equipment for staff working in the NHS.
Muslim Women’s Network UK has been supporting victims of domestic violence throughout the pandemic.
Himmah has provided food and hot meals to single-parent families, generally people who have fled domestic abuse, been divorced or are widowed, or are on refugee status or are seeking asylum.
Hand on Heart has been supporting the homeless through providing essential packs which contained hand sinitisers and clothing.
Al Khair Foundation through its ‘Here for You’ initiative has been providing meals to refugees in partnership with a local council.
Human Relief Foundation formed a partnership with a local pharmacy to distribute eesential prescritopns and medications to vulnerable and self-isolating households.
Muslim Women’s Council set up a hotline through which they could provide food, advice and signpost to local services.
This level of activity has never been experienced before in the United Kingdom.