The Clear Evidence
– Small but vital acts of kindness prove anyone can make a difference.
With restrictions and social distancing measures being implemented across Middle Eastern countries, Non-government organisations and charities alike are finding alternative ways to help the less fortunate. As Ramadan tents have been suspended outside mosques, donors have resorted to online platforms to support the community and fulfill their religious offering (Zakat).
Nauman Khan, a Pakistani expat, who has been living in Saudi Arabia for the past 10 years, established The Clear Evidence platform in 2018 with the purpose of raising awareness on Islam practices and fundraising projects. This year alone the website registered a 20% growth in contributions compared to 2019 during Ramadan.
“The support has been overwhelmingly positive. Donations have reached an all-time high since many have turned to remote means of offering during lockdown” says Nauman.
Other members of his family have also been actively involved within the charity initiatives. For example, his cousin Zeeshan, currently in Islamabad, has been providing food packages to low middle-class families experiencing job losses and income reduction due to the pandemic. Thanks to online donations and help by personal connections, he has been able to provide support for more than 800 households so far.
“I could not sleep for days hearing stories of educated people struggling to provide food for their kids. The pandemic has created an unprecedented number of unemployed, who by the nature of their occupation are not eligible to receive Zakat … I knew I had to do something” said Zeeshan, while remembering the past month spent delivering rations in a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) suit.
Being his first time as an active charity worker, he does not hide the difficulties of volunteering during COVID-19 times: “During Ramadan, the food requirements and prices increased…budget raised due to costly products such as dates and sweet drinks. Having to deliver packages while fasting was challenging along with prioritizing everyone’s health and wellbeing. Our efforts, although, have not gone unnoticed; it feels amazing receiving the prayers of those we could help and the ongoing support of strangers.” said Zeeshan.
In light of the unexpected achievements, more projects are set to kickstart and continue over the course of months and possibly years, at the occasion of future Ramadan celebrations.
“My intention was to create a platform on Islam accessible to everyone, but as a community, we have created so much more. The past weeks have been a mix of emotions; it can be hard getting to personally know the suffering of those in need, but it feels incredible seeing others joining forces for the cause. I feel proud and hopeful for the future” says Nauman.
Giorgia Rapella is a Journalism and Public Communication student at the University of Technology (UTS), Sydney.
Continue Reading: Muslim Community United During Ramadan: A Sign of Hope in COVID-19 Times - Giorgia Rapella