During this time, through its Ismaili CIVIC initiative, the Kenyan Jamat has come together from across the country to volunteer time and resources to help those in need.

Over the past week, Jamati institutions have provided food, personal protective equipment, and other essential provisions to communities across the country. In Kisumu, Western Kenya, the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board, along with other Jamati members and leaders, visited the Shakeel Orphanage Centre that houses 15 orphaned girls to provide food for their iftar. The group also presented the girls with essential items such as soap, masks, sanitiser, hygiene products, and other items. 

“We have been supporting this orphanage for over four years now, and it is even more critical that we continue to do so at this time. I hope we are making a difference,” said Imran Kanji, a Youth and Sports Board member for Kisumu.

In Nairobi, the Ismaili Council for Kenya and the Safety and Security Team donated personal protective equipment to the Office of the Inspector General - National Police Service. This donation included medical-grade masks, gloves, sanitiser, and other essentials.

These efforts are part of the broader Ismaili CIVIC initiative in which members of the Jamat around the world unite around a common mission to serve humanity by rendering voluntary service. This service reflects the Ismaili community’s ethic of civic engagement and good citizenship, and puts into action our ethics of service, peace, compassion, and care.

In addition to Jamati institutions, numerous Jamati members, either individually or through partnerships, have provided support in different ways as well. 

The Manji family, through their Foundation, has been feeding children in need every week. 

“My family and I come from a long tradition of serving the local community in every way possible,” said Minaz Manji. “Our family made a decision to support the homeless many years ago. In January we provided 250 plates of food that we cooked at home.”  

The Manji family is currently providing 350 meals per week and expect this number to increase during the pandemic.

Alisha Popat, Talisa Lanoe, and their families started up the #TasksForMasks campaign to provide masks to those who need them most.

“Our aim is to raise funds from our community to buy and then donate government-approved masks to the most vulnerable. In this initiative, we want to put them first,” said the duo.

Jahazair Sumar, Qaiz Sumar, Illyan Janmohammed, and Shayaan Rajan, young footballers from Nairobi between the ages of 16 and 25 years, gathered their friends and family together to donate basic supplies to informal settlements and childrens’ homes. 

Over the past weeks, the pandemic has been made even more difficult by floods that have ravaged farms and homes, causing food shortages, and other crises. 

Ismaili Council for Kenya President Shamira Dostmohamed said, “As Kenyans, it is our duty to help our brothers and sisters with basic essentials  for their own safety and well-being. This is very much in line with our Muslim ethics and with the Kenyan Swahili notion of Tuko Pamoja (We Are Together).”