2020: The year in review
Looking back at 2020, it can feel a bit surreal. A lot has happened – from the Australian bushfires, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, the Beirut explosions to the US election. Despite it being a tumultuous year of change, together, we were able to continue our work and ease suffering across the globe. Thanks to your incredible generosity, we achieved so much. Below we look at some of the year’s highlights!
The Australian bushfire emergency
Locally, we responded to the horrific bushfires, supported the local community through COVID-19 and joined forces with Brothers in Need to ramp up our local efforts to ease suffering.
Participating in bushfire recovery efforts was a humbling experience as the national and international support we received was phenomenal. In Queensland, we joined forced with the Islamic Council of Queensland to supply food and essential items to the people of Mogo Village, NSW after the town was all but destroyed by the fires. We also raised vital funds for equipment to help the Kangaroo Valley Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade prepare for the 2021 bushfire season. We also assisted small holder farmers with infrastructure repairs in Bemboka, NSW. We are very grateful to our international partners Islamic Relief Germany and Islamic Relief USA for their generous contributions to these initiatives.
Our COVID-19 response
While 2020 was a year like no other; as a global community we were able to rise to the challenge of COVID-19 with our unwavering community spirit. It was a year we came together to support and protect one another. With unity being at the core of Islam, we participated in the launch of the Aussie Muslim Food Drive across Sydney and Melbourne, joining 18 other Australian Muslim organisations to provide essential food supplies to some of the most vulnerable people during COVID-19, including international students, those who lost their jobs, refugees and the homeless. Over 1000 food hampers were distributed thanks to this partnership.
With our exciting new partnership with Brothers in Need, we rallied our dedicated volunteers to help feed the homeless on the third Saturday of each month. Alhamdulillah it was a successful endeavour with a wonderful turnout from both volunteers, and members of the wider community who are doing it tough. A HUGE thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who participated during the year!
Internationally, we worked with Islamic Relief Spain to support refugees affected by COVID-19 across Spain. In Gaza, we sent urgent medical supplies, including PPE, in this time of dire need for Palestinians
We responded to increasing needs globally
When explosions devastated Beirut, Lebanon in early August, we responded by supporting repairs to homes that were damaged and had become uninhabitable. By repairing houses and apartments, families are now able to return to their homes.
In Yemen, we continued to review our cholera project in response to an endemic that is threatening the health of millions of vulnerable people across the country. In a country ravaged by conflict, civilians face increasingly deteriorating living conditions.
We also continued our development projects, with seven major projects across five countries –from assisting small-scale farmers and cooperatives, to providing education, health and water interventions to vulnerable communities.
Our seasonal and faith-inspired programs
Globally our faith–inspired programs were a great success. Our donors continued to support over 1,000 orphans across 20+ countries.
As part of our efforts to address food insecurity at a global level, we distributed 6000 food hampers in 24 countries for Ramadan and 2,526 parcels in 25 countries for Qurban.
With winter being a particularly difficult period for vulnerable communities all over the world, we provided much-needed winter support to refugees and those displaced by conflict across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh and Jordan. Our winter survival kits included desperately-needed blankets and bedding, clothes, food and fuel.
We appointed our first female chair
In 2020, we reached a milestone when our first-ever female Chairperson, Dr Nora Amath, was elected. Dr Amath is an academic and a humanitarian who has dedicated her career and much of her personal time to human rights advocacy and community work.
Abdul Samim, our Fundraising and Community Relations Officer, won a prestigious community award
At the beginning of the year, our very own Fundraising & Community Relations Officer, Abdul Samim Khan, received a Local Legends Award in Queensland for his outstanding work in the community! As our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: The best people are those most beneficial to [other] people.