Last year, thousands of volunteers from 31 countries celebrated the inaugural Global Ismaili CIVIC Day (GICD) by taking part in more than 600 activities that helped with pandemic relief efforts and enhanced environmental sustainability. From planting trees to vaccination drives, volunteers came together to make a positive impact in the spirit of service and civic engagement.
The world today seems increasingly fragile and uncertain, while the threat of climate change is possibly the largest challenge humanity has ever faced. Addressing this requires collective efforts for environmental protection, preparing for natural disasters, protecting biodiversity, and improving sustainability. This calls for a renewed global commitment to our responsibility to care for the natural world.
To commemorate this year's theme, Ismaili CIVIC volunteers around the globe will work with local CIVIC partner organisations by offering their time, knowledge, and expertise in areas that promote, cultivate, and express the ethic of Environmental Stewardship. This year, we hope to contribute over 150,000 hours of service while engaging tens of thousands of volunteers across 15 countries.
“Environmental Stewardship is especially important as climate catastrophes have become the single-most pressing issue requiring our attention today,” said Farouq Manji, of the Ismaili CIVIC Core Team. “As stewards of the earth, Ismaili CIVIC along with our partners are putting ethics into action.”
The expressions of active citizenship and voluntary service at the core of Ismaili CIVIC are not new. They are rooted in a centuries-old tradition of rendering service to improve the quality of life of the communities in which we live, regardless of faith, gender, and background.
While GICD 2022 will be a day of unity, commitment, and enthusiastic service, the ethical foundations that underpin these are not only practised on one day of the year, but are sustained in the excellent voluntary work and social engagement that Ismailis worldwide demonstrate everyday in their cities, towns, communities, and neighbourhoods.
In Pakistan, Ismaili CIVIC embarked on a national tree plantation drive called 'Darakht se Hayat' (Life from Tree) to support the Government's "Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme." Ismaili CIVIC volunteers planted over 1.3 million trees as part of their contribution to the programme.
In Singapore, 'Our Green MoCa', an environmental community group, partnered with Ismaili CIVIC for GICD 2021 and has continued its community gardening and recycling initiatives via this partnership ever since.
More recently, the Ismaili community in Bangladesh distributed emergency food supplies to households affected by the recent floods. These efforts were supported by the Aga Khan Development Network and its agencies.
These are only a few of the hundreds of acts of service facilitated by Ismaili CIVIC, demonstrating the ongoing commitment in various parts of the world.
Beenish Kajani, an Ismaili CIVIC volunteer in Pakistan, is counting down the days to GICD. “With only a few days to go, I'm looking forward to connecting with my fellow volunteers and Ismaili CIVIC colleagues as we gather to commemorate GICD and engage in helping mitigate the climate crisis in any small way that we can,” she said.
This year, we invite you to join us on 25 September, as we unite with volunteers from all over the world to make a difference in our communities. Share your events and activities by tagging @TheIsmaili and using the official hashtag #GICD2022.