“If you become a helper of hearts, springs of wisdom will flow from your heart.” -Jalaledin Rumi

Planning the future of a family requires more than just being able to think about meeting its basic needs. Families can experience crises and often look for help but are not sure where to turn. At the ACCESS Helpdesk or through a toll-free call, the Jamat is able to gain access to a platform of subject matter experts within the community and volunteers willing and able to provide one-on-one service. These volunteers offer empathy, hope, and compassion for those seeking help.

Calls to ACCESS may be about any topic, program, event, or about mental health, financial problems, housing needs or even for assistance with completing college admissions forms. Available in five out of seven US regions, this 24/7 service is a free assistance offered to the Jamat.

ACCESS values the anonymity of the callers, and an initial request is handled by an input volunteer, who refers the individual or family to a professional case manager. Services are delivered by coordinating all five Jamati Central Institutions - the Health Board, Economic Planning Board, Social Welfare Board, Education Board, and the Youth and Sports Board.

The comprehensive ACCESS initiative is based on Hazar Imam’s guidance and strives to provide a single point of access offering coordinated, holistic, and specialized services, based on individual needs so that the Jamat does not have to deal with a multitude of agencies.

Based in Northeast Atlanta, Fariz Morani has been engaged with ACCESS for almost three years. His initial role began as a Family Coordinator. Over the years, he has helped 40-50 cases annually. Training for ACCESS is delivered through a full-day, in-person workshop, as well as through webinars. Modules are interactive and designed with previous case studies of most probable scenarios that can be expected, and volunteers are given an opportunity to simulate a response based on their experience and learning module, to enhance interpersonal skills.

Most of Fariz’s cases have been for permanent settlement challenges, where families experience displacement and trauma. His motivation to serve comes from his satisfaction in seeing those whom he has assisted go on to have a better quality of life. He reminds himself of the need for consultation in every case he is assigned, and offers a ray of sunshine through his ongoing interaction.

Southwest Region’s Multi-input Lead, Armina Sayani, has been a volunteer with the Social Safety Net (SSN) program and now ACCESS for a total of 12 years. She specializes in assisting Jamati members with social and economic issues, ranging from housing, healthcare, finance, to addiction, and abuse. Trained in modules focused on mental health, suicide prevention, bullying, women’s health, job management, and domestic violence, her drive for service stems from a long-lasting tradition of generations being in seva. “The betterment of the Jamat is truly part of my DNA,” said Armina.

Asmita Jamal, the Southwest Region’s Family Coordinator, has been a part of SSN and then ACCESS for six years. For her, it is a platform that enables individuals to catapult their careers for improvement in their quality of life. One individual was able to receive mentorship through a counselor and continued her progress to her undergraduate degree. Reflecting on the success of the cases she has seen, Asmita remarks, “Real success is only achieved when individuals themselves are really passionate about improving their quality of life with their strong determination and hard work.”

A list of ACCESS services can be obtained through a toll-free 24/7 helpline at 1-844-552-2237 or at the ACCESS HelpDesk in Jamatkhanas.

Comments from some members who have received ACCESS support

"My son who is a teenager was badly injured in an accident and was admitted for treatment for several weeks. I called ACCESS for help, a volunteer was by my side very quickly, giving me support and helping me complete all the forms and documents of the hospital. I also received support from Health Board which explained the treatment my son was receiving. After learning more about ACCESS, I decided to also serve as a volunteer so I can assist other Jamati members."

"My husband passed away in a car accident and my daughter and I reached out to ACCESS for help. The volunteers and our institutions provided us emotional and financial assistance to make sure we were not struggling. They also helped me complete a cosmetology course so I can support my daughter and manage on my own. I was very impressed and thankful for all the services and help provided by the volunteers."

“You actually have someone answering phones 24/7? That’s unbelievable. How do our volunteers do these things?”