Every year, Islamic societies in universities and colleges across the country come together in a week long initiative to raise as much money as possible for orphans and needy children. The initiative known as Charity Week has grown exponentially, with large sums of money being raised year upon year . The first Charity Week campaign was run in 2004 and raised £30,000. This year marks the tenth year of the campaign, and the total raised was an impressive £732,571.47. Such a feat should not be ignored at a time where Muslims are often the bait of hateful media and the subject of negativity. No other student-led organisation has ever been able to raise such an incredible amount in the short space of one week.
Perhaps the most heartening thing about Charity Week is the fact that Muslim students united together for one cause. Islamic Societies around the country came together with a combined vision of uniting the Muslim youth in a mission to raise money for the needy around the world, whilst improving Islam’s image away from the popularised extremist stereotype to a peaceful and proactive power.
Charity week instils a healthy sense of competition between universities to try and raise the most (this year’s winners with an amazing £83k total were Imperial College London), whilst inspiring creativity amongst students to approach fundraising in different and fun ways; to include Muslims and non-Muslims in participating and raising awareness amongst the public.
Such unity has inspired many to take part in a campaign that may have been previously unfamiliar to them. Campuses buzz with the excitement of the annual drive and every year brings new approaches to raising money ranging from bake sales, ladies’ pamper events to fancy dinners and lectures with honoured guests. The atmosphere inspires many to dig deep into their pockets and give, no matter how little. Groups of students, families and friends converge to put their funds together and raise the maximum amount they can.
Charity Week represents a prime example of the potential Muslim youth have to drive the image of Islam towards positivity and to participate actively in uniting and tackling for the sake of a cause. Over £700k will no doubt change the lives of many children in destitute situations across the globe, many of whom reside in largely Muslim populations.
Amidst the ever-growing Islamophobic sentiment, hate crime and fear that has infiltrated Britain today, Muslim youth remain a beacon of hope and a symbol of positivity that must be rewarded. Of course, besides the entertaining and exciting factors that drive Charity Week, intention is reminded at every opportunity to ensure that Muslim students remember the primary reason for the campaign and to renew their intentions towards Allah so that He may accept and reward their efforts.