Over the past year, the challenge of Covid-19 in Texas has been compounded by a winter storm that left millions throughout the state without power and water, and Hurricane Laura, which caused extensive property damage and displaced many. In the face of these challenges, members of the Ismaili community came together to assist those in need, staffing vaccine mega-sites, volunteering to distribute food and water, donating large amounts of PPE to first responders and communities in need, and organizing dozens of drives, including to collect blood, food, and books.
During the course of the pandemic, the Jamat has adapted to an increased use of technology. It is inspiring to see how Ismailis around the world have taken this transition in stride, as can be seen by the founding of The Ismaili TV, the hundreds of virtual events and programmes that have been offered, as well as the individual contributions of time and knowledge the global Jamat has provided.
Azima Dhanjee, a Pakistani entrepreneur, co-founded ConnectHear, a platform that generates sign language interpreters and seeks to increase deaf accessibility and inclusion in Pakistan.
When the United States government released a service that supported users in finding a vaccination site near them, Ontario-native Zain Manji realised there was nothing stopping him from creating a similar tool for Canadians.
The Ismaili is pleased to present a specially commissioned music video entitled Tere Liye (For You). Performed in six languages and featuring over a hundred The Ismaili Sounds artists, the song celebrates the tireless efforts of the countless volunteers around the world who have supported The Ismaili TV since its launch one year ago. The song’s lyrics also acknowledge all volunteers who have exemplified the ethic of service to the Imam-of-the-Time, and helped the Jamat feel connected, supported, and entertained over the past year.
As the global community faced unforeseen challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools and universities were required to quickly implement remote learning in order to maintain social distancing and other Covid-19 safety protocols.
Take any highly successful person and chances are that person had a mentor to guide his or her journey, but when Kenyan-born Azan Virji set out to obtain a world-class medical education in the United States, he didn’t know whose path he could follow.
Many of us spend our weekends having much needed downtime, catching up with chores or spending time with family. How willing would you be to give that up? Yasmin Heath from Brighton Jamatkhana in the UK did just this when she served on a TKN assignment in Europe. For one weekend every month, for six months, Yasmin travelled to Germany to voluntarily help murids from Afghanistan learn English language skills.
Whether you define it as seva, khidmat, or serviço, the ethic of offering service has been at the foundation of many selfless institutions and individuals around the world. This ethic is seen within our community and beyond, which can help to foster an active and healthy civil society. Youth leaders from around the world have adapted this very mindset: enabling communities through ‘building bridges.’ This phrase of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s is vital to forming a knowledge society, in which best practices — such as the ones used by Shagufta, Aly, and Sara — are shared and implemented worldwide.
Released to coincide with International Volunteer Day, We are IVC honours the Ismaili Volunteer Corps and others who continue a long-standing tradition by offering tireless and dedicated service to the Jamat and beyond.
In celebration of International Volunteer Day, The Ismaili is pleased to present We serve the Jamat, performed in Farsi by Najib Shirzad and volunteers from the Jamat in Afghanistan. The song depicts the humility and commitment of volunteers who ensure the wellbeing of the entire community, year after year.
The long-standing tradition of giving of one’s time and resources has been a significant aspect of the worldwide Jamat. On the occasion of International Volunteer Day, we explore the notion of voluntary service and the impact it has had in community building and enhancing quality of life.