As rains pounded southern Alberta and water levels rose earlier this summer, states of emergency were declared in Calgary and other communities across the province. Ismaili institutions and volunteers quickly organised themselves to ensure the safety of the Jamat and to assist their fellow citizens in the wake of the disaster.
Young Ismailis from across Pakistan grappled with the challenge of re-imagining their country’s future last year at the National Youth Camp 2012 held in Karachi. Some 80 participants aged 18 – 22 engaged in dialogue about differences and commonality, reflected on how to make positive life choices, and learnt how they might transform their hopes for a better world into reality.
At the invitation of and in collaboration with India’s National Disaster Management Authority, four members of the FOCUS India Search and Rescue Team conducted a training seminar for police and fire officials, members of the army, railway, home guard, and other security and government agencies in Delhi. The training was part of a week-long emergency management exercise organised by the District Disaster Management Authority of Delhi.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Azim Mitha is a matchmaker of sorts: he matches offerings of time and knowledge made by volunteers with the opportunities and needs of Jamati and Imamat institutions. In doing so, he helps qualified and capable professionals in the Jamat to offer meaningful voluntary service in their own field, while strengthening institutional capacity.
Today’s opening of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games marks an historic moment for the city and for modern sport gatherings. Approximately 680 members of the Ismaili community registered to help in the Olympic effort, and will take part as drummers, dancers, torch bearers and Olympic Ambassadors.
In their quest to broaden their relationships with religious communities, the prestigious Chautauqua Institution in New York state reached out to the Muslim community. With a mind to creating greater awareness about Islam and Muslim cultures, members of the Ismaili Muslim community responded, drawing in Muslim intellectuals to Chautauqua, who could share an understanding of Islam that is hard to find in mainstream media.
Karim Moledina has been a Scout for 50 years. In that time he has worked his way up through the organisation, steadily widening his scope of impact from his local roots in Mumbai to the national stage in India, and, more recently, beyond national borders to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tajikistan. Through the Scouting movement, he is enabling young people to put their values into action.
A selection of photographs from the Dear World Afghanistan campaign, taken by Grace Chung while she was an intern at Roshan in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, everyone has a story to tell – stories about the country’s people, their hopes for the future, of peace and development – yet most go untold. But when a Harvard student working at Roshan decided to launch a Dear World campaign, she gave new voice to the people of Afghanistan and to the many stories they have been waiting to tell.
Part of a seismically unstable zone that is prone to earthquakes, floods, landslides and droughts, Pakistan's northern region has long been home to a signifiant Ismaili population. Several new purpose-built jamatkhana projects blend traditional building with new disaster-resistant techniques. From design and construction to finished product, the new structures offer a model to uplifit the quality of habitat throughout the region.
Described as grassroots because they are led by concerned citizens rather than governments or established institutions, such community action initiatives can be a powerful means in addressing difficult issues. Some Ismailis are successfully using grassroots action to magnify the impact of their volunteer work.
Lifelong educator Roshan Hemani has been hard at work on the site of the new campus of the Aga Khan University in Arusha. But instead of moulding young minds she is re-forming the landscape – Hemani and a team of gardeners are on a mission to plant 150 000 trees in the area. And the plant nursery she has established may become a vital source in sustaining Tanzania’s ecology for years to come.