The 1st to the 7th of August marked Homelessness Week 2016. This campaign is coordinated each year by Homelessness Australia (HA) to shed light on the reality of homelessness in Australia.
As a project we always have our sights set on the future – always considering what our organisation can become and how we’re going to get there.
This year we launched the HFB Ambassadors Program at our Afternoon Ladies Tea event.
A running theme in our meetings leading up to 2016 is that we saw no reason why we couldn’t pack more boxes. We set our target of 130 boxes per month and alhamdulillah we hit that target on the 27th of March 2016!
And this was largely due to our amazing ambassadors and their dedication.
Our Ambassador Program is open to any one in the community eager to make a positive contribution locally. The task is simple: provide 5 boxes of food per month and do it however you want. Throw together a sporting event or put on a BBQ; host a morning tea or hold a bake sale.
Our ambassadors are encouraged to think outside the box and entertain any or every crazy idea that will engage the greater community in the conversation about food security for all. We’re actually pretty excited to see what fun ideas people come up with! 🙂
Check out these videos for a snippet of what went down at our Ladies Tea, hear one of our ambassadors speak & find out more about how you can get involved!
Are you as surprised as I am that we’ve already stumbled upon March? Because even though I’m about to take you through the wrap up, a small part of me wonders whether or not I was present or if the whirlwind that is 2016 got the better of me (in the best possible way, of course)!
Do you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself? Do you want to leave a legacy behind? Do you want to better the world you live in?
Do you want to live a meaningful life?
Here at HFB – Perth we are big on goals, meeting our targets and exploiting all of the hipster cafes in Perth to figure out how to do so – because nothing says productivity like coffee, desserts and all day breakfasts. Our team has been gearing up for some hard work in 2016, so it was perfect stumbling upon The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor.
Full of gems regarding positivity, happiness, success and work, I wanted to share a few of my own thoughts about these concepts and how they have related to my work with the Halal Food Bank – Perth.
2015 has been a phenomenal year for the Halal Food Bank – Perth team. We cannot even begin to express our gratitude and astonishment at the way the project and the team has grown in such a short amount of time. So I am here, your resident HFB – Perth blogger, to wrap this year up, take a look back at what we have achieved this year through countless blessings and where our sights are set for 2016.
As of late, I’ve been getting more and more familiar with the concept of: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I feel we need to re-evaluate what we think of when we discuss “charity” & “poverty”; what do those terms even mean to us and are the connotations more harmful than we think? What do we aim to achieve when we think of “giving charity”? Are we contributing time and effort into building sustainable projects in which those that are disadvantaged are actively contributing and developing their independence (see: Mia Birdsong) or are we simply donating our bit here and there (whether it be money, clothes or food) and then being done with it?
Now, that’s not to say that those contributions are ineffective or invalid in any way: there is a definite need for them, but they are often short-term endeavours. The ideal is that there no longer exists a need for projects such as these due to their replacement by sustainable initiatives that are long-term and supported, not only by people passionate about helping others, but by the people that are struggling themselves.
The Islamic tradition is explicit when it dictates that the disadvantaged in society have a right over us. It is a duty that we must fulfil, one of the obligations of our faith being that of Zakat (meaning purification: in which we must donate 2.5% of our wealth to those in need) – but we as a community need to think about how we go about purifying that wealth and contributing.
An article found on the Virtual Mosque by Louiza Chekhar discusses just this. Titled “Dignity, not Charity”, this insightful piece serves as a reminder that there should be more to aiding someone in need; giving somebody what they need in that moment is helpful, but supplying someone with the tools and ability to provide for themselves and their family in the long run gives them so much more. Chekhar delves into the concept of affording someone their rightful dignity and honour when they are struggling by exploring the ‘Prophetic model of charity’.
You can read the full article here.
Until next time,
Salaams from the Halal Food Bank – Perth Team 🙂