Young Muslims urged to help tackle global poverty

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MADE in Europe and Oxfam join forces to launch online toolkit

YOUNG British Muslims are being urged to get involved in helping to tackle global poverty.

Charities MADE in Europe and Oxfam have launched an online toolkit to help and support young Muslims in the UK to get involved in global poverty campaigns by taking action such as lobbying MPs, holding events in their local communities and using the media to build awareness.

The toolkit was launched at the Houses of Commons and was attended by representatives from leading Muslim community and youth organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain and Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) as well as UK Government representatives from the Department for International Development and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.  

Young people who took part in a campaigning programme with MADE in Europe over the summer shared their experiences of using the campaign toolkit to tackle issues including global food insecurity and maternal health.

18-year-old Hanna Abdi from south London ran a campaign to raise awareness among UK Somali women about the number of women who die in Somalia during childbirth.

“I want to raise awareness about the risk of one in 14 women dying during childbirth in Somalia,” she said.

“It is crucial to campaign and raise awareness on these issues and I want to help every mother who is at risk as though they were my own. The toolkit has made it so easy for me with clear guidelines and support, to go forward in an effective and confident way as a campaigner. I strongly believe that when enough people get involved and become a voice then change is possible to help those who are in need.” said Hanna.

Khalid Sofi, Chair of MADE in Europe said of the toolkit: “We have seen the generosity of Muslim communities when it comes to fundraising helping those in need. Asking communities to campaign on issues and be a voice can also bring change. Campaigning works. Petitions and signatures have cancelled Haiti’s debt after the earthquake of 2010 and have bought free healthcare to Sierra Leone. Its not just money that can make significant differences. My hope now with the toolkit is to see a surge of campaigners coming forward to alleviate poverty and bring the lasting change that is desperately needed.”

Paul Hilder, Director of Campaigns at Oxfam added: “We are looking forward to developing our work with MADE in Europe. The joint challenge of making issues such as maternal mortality relevant to communities offering those pathways for empowerment and change in the service of social justice is our shared challenge and responsibility.”

The toolkit will be available on MADE in Europe’s website www.madeineurope.org.uk

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