Last week Newcastle University’s Islamic Society took to the streets fundraising on campus, Northumberland Street and at Monument for Islamic Relief, a UK based charity.
This annual event which includes student groups will raise funds for orphans and children in need in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Head of the student group running Charity Week for Newcastle and Northumbria is third year student Robina Saeed. “We want Charity Week to be bigger and better,” Robina told The Courier. “Even if Islamic Relief is a Muslim charity, the money goes to many countries including those that are not Muslim so I don’t want people to be under the impression that only Muslims can be involved. I want everyone to get involved, people from all faiths or no faith, everyone just coming together for one cause.”
Last year the Islamic Society’s Charity Week was a small event ran by seven volunteers. Despite this they successfully raised £2,000. This year there were seventy five volunteers who ran bucket collection points, bake sales, henna stalls, arm wrestling contests, a photo booth, a Halal pub quiz, a pamper night as well as a FIFA night. There are high hopes that this year will top last year.
“Every little helps, even one penny makes all the difference,” Robina pointed out. “I’m really happy and I hope that everyone will come together for this cause because it is children who suffer the most. It’s good to give back to others who have less than us.”
2015 is the 12th year of Charity Week with similar actions happening in Dubai, Qatar, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and the USA to name a few.
Last year money raised across the world was spent on Education projects in Mali, psycho-social support for displaced Syrian Children in Lebanon and prosethtic-orthopaedic assistance for disabled children in Chechnya.
This year supporters can visit the Charity Week website to vote on which projects they would like their money to go to.
Interested participants only had to grab a society T-Shirt from any committee member at the daily bake stall held outside the Student Union and then they were able to get involved with any of the activities.
“Many people do not know this but giving a proportion of our wealth to those in need is compulsory in Islam, and looking after the poor especially Orphan Children who have nobody is something, which is referred to again and again in our Holy text the Quran and by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),” Robina said. “So this is our chance as young Muslims to get together and make a real difference.”
All through the week, the volunteers involved with Charity Week 2015 have been at the stall, tirelessly working towards their cause.
“We’ve been here rain and shine, when it was chucking it down yesterday, the day before, but we haven’t given up because we’re doing it for the orphans and all the other children in need from all over the world,”Robina told The Courier at the charity week stand.
“Already we’ve beaten the total that we made last year. Last year it was £2000 and we have three more days to go yet until Sunday and already we’ve beaten that, so I’m really happy.”
Photographs from this year and previous year of Charity Week can be found on the Newcastle University Islamic Society Facebook page.
This month, ISoc also joined in with Black History Month, organising an event about Islam & Black History, in conjunction with OneCommunity.
Next on the Islamic Society’s calendar is their annual Discover Islam week in the big marquee outside the Union in February.
“We’re really pleased with all the progress so far,” Robina added in her final remarks. “The banking deadline’s not until Friday 13th so we’re still going to be bucketing now and again on campus, but today’s the last day of the food and everything. Big thanks to everyone who donated cakes and everything, it’s been really good!”