What started as a simple ask to help Afghan refugees has turned into something much more with several mosques across the UK saying they have been ‘overwhelmed’ with donations.
Shereen Ajumal, 52, trustee and treasurer at the Sleaford Islamic Centre, has revealed how this all started.
“I had been getting constant messages asking if we were doing anything about this,” she told Lincolnshire Live.
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“That’s when I got a call from the Scarborough resettlement scheme. People started dropping off donations so that we could transfer it to Scarborough, where about 64 families have already arrived in Scarborough.
“We have all sorts of donations. Clothes, shoes, food, toys, books. We have a wheelchair and a pushchair too. We’re sorting them out now to make sure they’re all clean and tidy before we send them off.”
Donated items will be sent on to Scarborough’s the Rainbow Centre and distributed to families who fled the country after the Taliban took over.
It is not only Sleaford residents who have been donating as people in neighboring villages and towns also participated.
“They’ve been donated by people in Sleaford and the surrounding villages,” Ajumal said.
“We are just overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity. When there is a crisis this is what happens – people come together.
“The first thing to say is not whether they are Muslim or Christian, but whether they are human beings. That is what is important.”
Collecting donations for Afghan refugees resettling in Wakefield, imam of York Mosque published a video on Facebook to express his gratitude to the number of generous donations sent over the weekend, Yorkshire Post reported.
“This really has been an overwhelming response, we have rackets, we have roller skates, we have guitars, we have tractor sets,” Imam Mirazam from York Mosque said in a video.
“All of these are stuff which the children will see and think ‘yeah there are people out there who care for us. There are people out there who actually want to give and not just take things from us’.
“If there are any refugees that settle here please do reach out to us. Whichever religion they are; whether they are Muslim, non-Muslim, we don’t care. If they are refugees we will welcome them.”
The imam expressed gratitude to the community, donating generously during the difficult time of COVID-19.
“This is a community effort, this is an effort which each one of us is responsible for, Alhamdulillah. It gives us pleasure, it gives us confidence, it gives us hope that there are people still out there who give, even when they themselves are facing difficulties,” Mirazam added in the video.
“Even with all this that is going on around us, this covid pandemic that is out there, still there are people who are giving from the bottom of their hearts.”
For the past two week, the world’s attention has been gripped with the news of Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan.
The fall of Kabul took place on Sunday, August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war.