Murdered student’s charity brings hope to orphans
LESS than a year after the tragic murder of a Derbyshire teenager, her ambitions are on the way to being realised.
Nineteen year-old Halimah Ahmed was studying International Relations and Global Politics at Nottingham Trent University when her young life was tragically cut short.
She was found dead in a house in the Normanton area of the city last November. Police believe she was murdered by 33-year-old Kurd Khalid Peshawan who rented the house and was found hanged just yards away from Halimah.
The pretty 19-year-old had intended to pursue a career in charity and fundraising for disadvantaged communities throughout the world – an ambition that has been taken up by her family.
Following her death in November last year, her brother, Faizaan, together with parents Ash and Zareen set up The Halimah Trust to fulfil Halimah’s vision.
They are already making headway with their first project – the building of a secondary school for orphaned girls in the city of Wazirabad in Pakistan. The charity is hoping to raise £108,000 to fund the construction of the two-storey school, which will be named the Halimah School of Excellence in memory of the 19-year old.
For Halimah’s father, Ash Ahmed, there is still a long way to go before his daughter’s vision will become a reality.
“The cost of building phase one of the school, which we are hoping to complete by next October, is £65,000”, he said. “Thanks to generous donations, we are already about a third of the way there, but there is still a long way to go”
Over the past few months Halimah’s family, friends and work colleagues have been taking part in a number of fundraising activities to help raise the much-needed cash. They have competed in the Glasgow and Nottingham Half Marathons, scaled the peaks of Ben Nevis and Skiddaw and participated in fun runs. Some of Ash’s male work colleagues even bared their legs and gritted their teeth for a ‘waxathon’ in aid of the charity. The latest fundraising event was the Great North Run which took place on the weekend.
The Halimah Trust is also being assisted in its efforts by www.help.co.uk a leading online fundraising company. Halimah’s supporters have set up fundraising pages on the website, where sponsors can make secure payments directly to the charity.
“Help.co.uk has made the sponsorship and collection of donations so much easier for us, so we can get on with our fundraising,” added Ash.
A budding photographer, Halimah’s collection of nature-inspired photography are also being sold to help with the effort. And it doesn’t end there. Halimah’s younger brother Faizaan is currently recording a song dedicated to the memory of his sister called “One Day”. The track will be released at the Global Peace and Unity Event in London on October 26 but not before Faizaan gets to perform the single live at two Eid Unplugged” fundraising charity dinner events in London and Birmingham.
Building of the second storey of the school, expected to complete in January 2010, will cost an additional £43,000 and Halimah’s family is urging people to get involved.
“We know that building this school would mean so much to Halimah.” Says Ash, “All she ever wanted to do was to help those in poverty-stricken areas to have a better life. This school is just one step towards fulfilling her ambitions.”
For more information on the Halimah Trust log onto www.thehalimahtrust.org.
Details of Halimah’s own captivating photography collection inspired by nature can be found at www.saffronart.co.uk
Eid Unplugged will take place on 14 October in London and also in Birmingham on 17 October. Please visit www.eidunplugged.com for further details.