London, (Muslim Aid):
On 19th of June 2014, Muslim Aid launched its Ramadan Campaign at the Grand Connaught Rooms. With the combined efforts of the staff members and volunteers, this campaign will raise funds for projects assisting poor and vulnerable communities throughout the year as well as ensuring they receive vital sustenance during the month of Ramadan. The theme of Ramadan campaign Give Freedom highlights the importance of helping communities living in destitution and conflict zones to achieve freedom from hunger, disease and poverty. Muslim Aid’s Ramadan campaign 2014 includes ‘Feed the Fasting’ programme through which food packs are distributed to people living in extreme poverty, emergency appeals for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) from Syria, Myanmar and Central African Republic, long-term child sponsorship and poverty reduction programmes.
The event was hosted by Mr Ajmal Masroor. Keynote speeches were delivered by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Trustee of Muslim Aid, HE Mustafa Mujezinovic, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs Sarah Brown, co-founder of A World At School, Ms Saira Begum Mir, founder of PL84U, Mr Gavin Shuker, Shadow Secretary for International Development and Mr Hamid Azad, CEO of Muslim Aid. The event also included a message from Professor Eklemeddin Ihsanoglu and performance by Faisal Saleh and Abul Kalam.
In his speech Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Trustee of Muslim Aid said, “From Syria, to Central African Republic to Myanmar, we have been witnessing cries of millions of people who are being continuously driven into agony and misery due to conflicts and social injustice inflicted upon them. The month of Ramadan will be particularly difficult for them. It is our collective responsibility as the international community to ensure such deserving people have food on their plates at the end of a long summer day.”
HE Mustafa Mujezinovic, said, “Ramadan is the best time for humanitarian activity which helps those who are sending aid and those who are receiving aid. Thank you Muslim Aid for your efforts and goodwill for people in need wherever they are.”
Mrs Sarah Brown, “I am huge admirer of work of Muslim Aid and the reach that you have and what is so effective about the work that’s happening now, as you address this big intractable issues about poverty, hunger and disease, is how you look so carefully at the systems around it and understand to put empowerment in the hands of one person to be able to create their own living and contribute back to the economy.” She also added, “If we were to have a chance to create a world which we envisage where we are able to live together and create peace together, than we also need to know that every single child has the freedom to be able to unlock their full potential and that every single child has the freedom to know that they can go to school and they can go to school in safety.”
Ms Saira Begum Mir said, “It is our duty to serve humanity, wherever it may be; whether it is a third world country or a developed country, such as United Kingdom. PL84U is also serving humanity one plate at a time. We provided service of distributing food to homeless once every month. Through partnership with Muslim Aid we have means to provide service twice a month with the aid of food banks, sleeping bags and keep warm kits.”
Mr Gavin Shuker , in his speech he said, “In past we talked about freedom from absolute poverty, freedom from the ignorance of not receiving decent education, freedom from disease, freedom from being oppressed, freedom from being held back. But challenge for us is not just to move away from but freedom to. Freedom to live the lives that we want for everyone, freedom to education which allows us not just to transform ourselves but our communities, freedom to demonstrate that each person has an inherent worth of value. We want freedom for people, we want change for people, we want change in world structures and let’s not not be passionate about. The world will not change unless we step up to the plate”
Mr Hamid Azad said, “It is my modest request to you to be a part of our ‘’Give freedom’’ campaign this Ramadan to create welfare societies where vulnerable people do not have basic human rights. We therefore celebrate the arrival of Ramadan with you all and hope we can bring happiness in lives of many people who are in need of our support during this month and throughout the year. I trust people will be use Muslim Aid’s humanitarian services as a platform to support others in need.”
In his message Professor Eklemeddin Ihsanoglu stated, “This year Muslim Aid is inviting its donors to “Give Freedom” to millions affected by conflict, disasters and poverty. By donating to one or more of Muslim Aid’s long-term development projects, donors can support the poorest communities and give afflicted people hope and opportunity. As an Ambassador of Muslim Aid, I would like to reassure you that Muslim Aid is committed to tackle poverty and its causes by developing sustainable solutions that would enable communities to live with dignity and freedom and by supporting initiatives that promote economic and social justice.”
Last year, 253,000 beneficiaries were supported by Muslim Aid’s ‘Feed the Fasting programme’ in 41 countries, spending £450,000. In the UK, Muslim Aid also extended its ‘Feed the Fasting’ programme by distributing food to homeless people.