The spirit of Ramadan and the ensuing Eid Al Fitr should extend to helping the poor and the needy, says a community leader.
Faiyaz Khan, known to the Indian community in general and Indo-Fijians in particular, is on his seasonal round of collecting material and money for Fatimah Foundation, which is at the forefront of helping poor families in Fiji.
“About 25 families (of which 20 are Muslims) are in urgent need of food and other basic essentials every week and while we are doing our best, public support and patronage will help in our efforts to keep them healthy and sustained,” he said.
As the Foundation’s Food Bank Coordinator, Mr Khan is well aware of the difficulties faced by people with modest finances.
“We need a number of items including rice, flour, cooking oil, noodles, canned fish, milk powder, sugar, tea, sadaqa or haqeeqa meat. We are also in need of used clothes which are in good condition. These can be delivered at the office of our Foundation located at 7, Piki Thompson Way in Otahuhu, Auckland. The Foundation also uses monies collected at Mosques and Islamic Centres for assisting non-Muslim families,” he said.
An acronym of Family Assistance To Islamic Mothers And Homes, the Foundation was established in 2009 with a passion for serving the poor. Its commitment has captured the attention of a large segment of the Muslim population.
The 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 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.”
Further details can be obtained from Fatimah Foundation on (09 2767680 during working hours or from Faiyaz Khan on 021-2609104. Website: www.fatimahfoundation.org.nz
Photo: Faiyaz Khan