London, 7 July 2014 – Over 5 000 parcels of food and provisions were packed at UK Jamatkhanas this Saturday to help some of the most vulnerable populations in London, Birmingham and Leicester. Local charities will distribute the packages under Share a Smile, an Ismaili community initiative to help those in need during the month of Ramadan.
While the annual Premier Cup cricket tournament brought Ontario Ismaili Muslims together in April, it was also part of a wider effort to build cricket pitches and support programming in Toronto neighbourhoods that are home to large South Asian immigrant communities.
In October 2013, over 341 000 individuals suddenly stopped what they were doing to Drop, Cover and Hold On! They were taking part in the AKDN ShakeOut – a drill that teaches people around the world how to protect themselves in the event of an earthquake.
When a severe winter storm forced Ontario residents to cope for days in frigid temperatures without electrical power or heat, Ismaili institutions and volunteers quickly mobilised to support those who were most vulnerable. The Jamat’s strength, support and care for one another kept everyone safe; warmed by the knowledge that no one in the community is ever alone.
In July 2013, 64 students with roots in 13 countries gathered at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa to participate in Global Encounters, the first summer programme of its kind for Ismaili youth from around the world. Students engaged with pressing issues in global development, contended with real-world challenges, broadened their world views, built new friendships, and nurtured a sense of self-discovery.
The Great ShakeOut is an annual drill that teaches people around the world how to protect themselves in the event of an earthquake. The Aga Khan Development Network, which has been participating in the ShakeOut drill since 2011, drew more than 168 000 particpants last year, teaching them to DROP, COVER and HOLD ON when the earth begins to tremble.
When an earthquake strikes, there are only seconds to react — knowing how to correctly respond can save your life or prevent major injury. Practising the DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON technique is important. You may only have seconds to protect yourself before a strong earthquake knocks you down, or causes dangerous objects to fall on you.
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.