One of the most significant aspects of Islam is its emphasis on equality of all people of all religions and the importance of mitigating the sufferings of humanity, offering relief and support wherever and whenever possible.
The Holy Quran, the most Sacred Book of Muslims teaches the importance of giving alms or Zakat, especially while observing Eid Al Fitr (marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan) and Eid Al Adha (marking the Haj or Pilgrim season and prayers in Mecca and Medina). A number of organisations function throughout the world, some opulent enough to function on their own finances, and the others dependent on public contributions.
The latter is often cited as the ideal way of raising and distributing wealth, for it not only involves the participation of the larger community but also enables people to understand the harsh realities of life and the challenge of raising financial resources for the poor and the needy.
Auckland based Fatimah Foundation belongs to the latter category, embracing people of varied vicissitudes who willingly give their time and effort to mobilise the requisite resources for providing community care and social welfare.
An acronym of Family Assistance To Islamic Mothers And Homes, the Foundation was established two years ago ago. Its passion for serving the poor has captured the attention of a large segment of the Muslim population, evincing equal interest among others.
Inspired by the teachings of the Holy Quran (that building stronger families and service to humanity are the cornerstones of human existence), the Foundation has been working to preserve and strengthen the institution of the family through education and promotion of social responsibilities.
President Waheed Khan said creating awareness among the members of the Muslim community and all other ethnic groups were among the primary tasks that the Foundation has undertaken since its inception in 2009.
“We aim to impress upon in the community and inspire positive change,” he said.
Fatimah Foundation was the result of the pronounced need for support and guidance based on Islamic values in a family crisis or family breakdown.
According to Mr Khan, cultural barriers influenced adversely on Muslim women who were victims of family crisis or family breakdown.
“The fear of the unknown prevents such women from seeking timely help to resolve their family disputes. Fatimah Foundation is unique and possesses special attributes that provide values-based services and culturally appropriate facilities and services holistically to a diverse Muslim community,” he said.
Foundation Co-Founder and Service & Operations Manager Noeleen van de Lisdonk said that the primary role of the Foundation was to provide opportunities for education and promote the interests of the Muslim community through advocacy, support, education, advice, and information to families and people under stress and at risk.
“The Secondary Role is Intervention and Safety for women and children at risk or in crisis by providing critical cultural and Islamic support services. These could incorporate a follow up process, including working with the family and providing after care to women and children,” she said.
She said that although the Foundation did not offer all services to all people in the community, it was focused towards the Muslim community.
“However, we do provide an assessment and referral service to the general public,” she said.
7 Piki Thompson Way, Otahuhu, Auckland
Phone: (09) 2767680 Fax: (09) 2767678
Contact Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri 10 am- 3 pm
(Tuesday & Sunday closed)