Our humanitarian mission to Greece is all about extending help to the masses of refugees seeking asylum from a life of persecution and violence. It is 22:30 Greek Time when we arrive at the furthest point on the coast of Skala in Lesvos. This point is marked by a lighthouse that stands on it. Upon our arrival, we meet a group of about 60 Afghani Shias who had taken shelter in an abandoned house with nothing but a fire to keep them warm.
3 years ago, in Muharram 1432, The World Federation launched the ’40 Islamic Centres in 40 Days’ Campaign to raise funds to rebuild Islamic Centres across Pakistan that were destroyed by flood waters. One year later, in Muharram 1433, a successive campaign was set off to place religious guides in each of these centres in an effort to build spiritually strong and healthy communities in the wake of the disaster.
Over the past two years, The World Federation and its regional partner in Pakistan have invested a lot of time and resources into the training and development of the religious guides who operate these institutions across Pakistan’s rural communities. Today, The World Federation is delighted to share with you the excellent progress of this initiative where these institutions up and running, benefitting the local residents and having a positive impact on their lives:
• Scholars are leading daily, Eid and Friday prayers
• Scholars are teaching Qur’an and Islamic Studies to children
• Lectures are held regularly
• Special programs are organized for ladies
• Scholars are perform marriage nikahs and funeral ceremonies
• Each centres has a library to provide Islamic knowledge and nurture good reading habits in the young and old
• Efforts are underway to publish first and second level Islamic studies books in Urdu and Sindhi languages
• Ramadhan and Muharram programs are held which draw large numbers of community and non-community members
• This year, the a’maal of 15th of Shaban was organized and was a great success
Our regional partner commented: “This initiative has been a success and we have seen growing religious awareness among the people. Attendance at regular prayers has improved and signs of positive change are visible. Our collective efforts have been well received by the local people and will yield far reaching effects with the passage of time when the children reach their adolescent and adult years. If we want to see this program succeed well into the future, we will need to invest more resources.”
Whilst we have seen much progress in a span of two years, the following shortcomings are also present and can hinder our work:
• Being a rural and tribal community, sometimes it is difficult to sort out cultural issues
• The security problems coupled with the geographical distances of the villages restrict regular visits to monitor the work
• Teaching methods have their limitations
• Low literacy rates among the people
• Difficult work environments created by lack of electricity for up to 12 hours every day and the hot summer temperatures wear out the teachers and students.
• In some of the Centres, there are no adequate living accommodations for the guides
• Lack of proper and affordable healthcare
Our regional partner added: “There is not much we can do to improve the conditions that are the making of Mother Nature. However, we intend to make full efforts to promote education and values and share the woes of the poor as an obligation towards Allah who has bestowed us with His bounties. Our joint role has been remarkable and has earned many accolades here. We are honored to partner with The World Federation in promoting religious, educational and charitable work for the deserving folks in Pakistan.”
The World Federation takes this opportunity to extend our heartfelt appreciation to our regional partner in Pakistan for their excellent cooperation and support. Travelling and working in Pakistan’s rural landscape is not easy and the heightened security tensions makes it that much more unsafe. Still, amid these and other obstacles, our partners, volunteers and staff persevered to help build a better future for the affected families. From what seemed to be an arduous endeavor, to the accomplishments this initiative has made, we can only thank Allah (swt) for guiding our every efforts.
DELIVER THE FUTURE
Donations to the ‘Delivering the Future: Islamic Scholars for Islamic Centres Fund’ will fund the placing, training and development of religious guides in the 105 newly built Islamic Centres across Pakistan’s scattered and remote villages sponsored by The World Federation. This initiative is essential to ensure that the centres are properly utilised, and that people, especially the children and youth are educated in Islamic teachings. The cost of sponsoring one Islamic Scholar in one Islamic Centre for an entire year is only £965 GBP / $1,540 USD-CAD per year. Donors to this fund are making a real and lifelong impact on thousands of men, women and children who are rediscovering the light and guidance of the Ahlul Bayt (as). Sponsor an Islamic Scholar in full or in part and join us in ‘Delivering the Future’.
Donate directly to your Jamaat Treasurer
The World Federation is excited to introduce the new brand for our International Development work – WF AID.
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