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‘Helping Hands’ Initiative Serves The Muslim Community

A joint initiative by the Pearl of the Islands Foundation (PIF), Khadija Leadership Network (KLN) and Who is Hussain? Auckland wrapped up in September. The three organisations provided essential support to people who were in need of assistance since the pandemic brought the country into lockdown in April 2020.

At the beginning of the initiative, ‘Helping Hands’ ran a recruitment drive to attract volunteers for this community service. In total, 21 volunteers signed up. They were provided with basic training on hygiene and safety to ensure they kept themselves and others safe during this time.

Initially, the aim was the assist with picking up and dropping off groceries and medical supplies. Yasir from PIF, one of the project leads, stated that “Very quickly we came to the realisation that New Zealanders united as one and many groups began to offer similar support.”

A phone line was also created thanks to Masooma from Who is Hussain? Auckland, “We are thankful to MSD for recognising our work and granting us a permit to operate as essential workers during lockdown restrictions. It was a great feeling to be able to collaborate and serve the community in the most vulnerable times”.

‘Helping Hands’ predominantly assisted migrant communities across New Zealand that were not eligible for government support. Exercising strict confidentiality, $2100 in funds were distributed to individuals and families across the country to pay for accommodation, groceries, medical bills, and household furniture.

Tayyaba Khan, CEO of KLN, found the project and it's approach critical to ensure community organisations were filling gaps to provide support where necessary, “It has been wonderful to see the New Zealand government roll out several packages to support some of our most vulnerable including the foreign workers support package.”

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