During the holy month of Ramadan, members of the Dawoodi Bohra community of Leicester engaged in prayer, fasting, and reflection, while seeking to extend the blessings of the month to the wider society.
Guided by the Dawoodi Bohras’ global Project Rise initiative, volunteers from the Leicester community have been engaging in community service and supporting social causes so that no individual is left neglected, overlooked or marginalised.
Recently, the impact of the cost-of-living crisis has seen a surge in Leicester of vulnerable people living in poverty and not knowing where their next meal will come from. Local food banks have seen the numbers of those needing their essential services increase dramatically.
The local Dawoodi Bohra community recently organised a food collection drive with long-term partners One Roof Leicester, a local charity that provides accommodation, support and advice to people who are homeless, destitute refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerably housed in Leicester. Volunteers donated essential items such as oil, rice, sugar, and tinned food, in addition to money to help with important purchases. Community members volunteered their free time to collect, sort, load and deliver the items to One Roof Leicester, who distributed the items to several other local food banks. This donation contributed to a larger food drive by One Roof totalling three tonnes of food that will provide 9,000 meals to families living in poverty in Leicester.
Salma Ravat of One Roof commented, “The Muslim community again donated high-quality foods, demonstrating the care and compassion of Islam and their passion for helping those less fortunate than themselves regardless of faith, culture and creed. The response we have had this year is overwhelming, especially when we are all affected by the pressures of rising food and utility costs. For the last few years, we have built awareness of the high levels of poverty in our City and as a result we have seen more and more members of the community wanting to help their neighbours who are suffering. In Leicester City alone, more than 30,000 young people (5-17-year-olds) live in food poverty. So, too, do their families. Even more people in the wider county find it extremely difficult to feed themselves and their loved ones due to issues like low incomes and poor health. The food donations were distributed to local food banks enabling them to support local residents who are struggling with food poverty.”
Charity is one of the tenets of the Muslim faith and the Leicester Bohras intend to continue their ongoing partnership with One Roof Leicester in the hope that it will make an impactful difference, not just during Ramadan, when charity and service are so important to the community, but all year round.