Tag Archive: Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association

Volunteer of the Year

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A selfless volunteer from Huddersfield has been commended for his efforts after topping a nationwide poll to be named ‘Volunteer of the Year’.

32-year-old Kamal Aftab, from Almondbury, picked up 45 percent of the total votes in the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network's ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’.

His role, as a regional youth leader with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), has seen him balance his professional and personal life with hours upon hours of voluntary work.

SELFLESS: Kamal Aftab has been volunteering with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association since he was just a little boy and currently helps oversee a number of projects for the group across Yorkshire

SELFLESS: Kamal Aftab has been volunteering with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association since he was just a little boy and currently helps oversee a number of projects for the group across Yorkshire

Since aged just seven, Kamal says he has been volunteering and helping others and it has always been a passion of his which has continued to thrive throughout his life.

His work over the past 12 months has included sending a team of support workers to Somerset from Yorkshire during the devastating floods, as well as working on numerous fundraising activities from cycle challenges to tree planting.

It was Kamal’s friend, and fellow AMYA volunteer, Nadeem Ahmed, who nominated him for the award and the local optometrist says he was ‘incredibly humbled’ and ‘proud’ to be picked as number one in the country.

“There were four other nominees in the category and every single one of them deserved to win this award because of their amazing work,” he said.

“It was a nice surprise when I heard I’d actually won and I was absolutely delighted and honoured to just be nominated.

“To be recognised for all of this work we do is obviously very nice but predominantly we are doing it because we believe in God, we believe God created mankind and therefore it is our duty to serve mankind.

“It also helps remove these stereotypes that people have on our faith. Islam is often portrayed in such a bad way at times and people forget that there are so many good people – it is just that small minority who are getting publicised.

“By doing voluntary actions, benefitting all communities, regardless of faith or skin colour, we help remove these negative stereotypes.”

Kamal says his role as a voluntary regional youth leader often takes up more of his time than his profession does with events occurring every other day.

The award recognised his efforts in helping to better communities across Yorkshire, and even Britain, yet he insists the completion of voluntary work is just as satisfying as individual commendations.

“I am very proud to be named the volunteer of the year but there is much more work to do,” he said.

“For us the work continues irrespective of these awards and we are constantly just trying to play that small part in helping out as many people as possible.”

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A tall challenge

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A team of determined Muslims pulled on their walking boots and headed to the mountains last weekend as they aimed to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

30 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) scaled the UK’s three highest peaks in an attempt to raise £7,500 for the British Red Cross.

The members pushed their limits to the max as they hiked up Scaffell Pike, in England, Ben Nevis, in Scotland, and Mount Snowden, in Wales, in under 33 hours.

CLIMB: Local youth leader for AMYA Huddersfield, Kamal Aftab, enjoys a cup of tea at the summit of England’s highest mountain, Scaffell Pike

CLIMB: Local youth leader for AMYA Huddersfield, Kamal Aftab, enjoys a cup of tea at the summit of England’s highest mountain, Scaffell Pike

The group said they were hoping to spread the message of peace by completing the walk whilst also dismissing false stereotypes that have been ‘given to Muslims across the UK’.

Dr Aziz Hafiz, Chairman and leader of the Three Peak Challenge said the group had been training for a long time before last weekend and was proud to be helping out such a worthy cause.

“We do a lot of work with the British Red Cross and are honoured to be raising money for such a fantastic charity,” he said.

“At the peak of each mountain we all offered a prayer of peace to pray for Great Britain and the amazing British Nation.

“Some people unfortunately assume that there is a conflict between being Muslim and British. For us, as well as the other 7,500 young British Muslims who make up AMYA, it is our faith that drives us to love this great country and its people so much.”

PRAYER: The group of 30 climbers were all members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and gave a prayer for Britain at the top of each peak

PRAYER: The group of 30 climbers were all members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and gave a prayer for Britain at the top of each peak

This is the third year running that the AMYA team has raised money for charity through similar initiatives.

The last two hikes saw trekkers raise more than £40,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and The British Heart Foundation by scaling The Mont Blanc Range in the French Alps, whilst runs and cycle events have also been held in recent months.

 

If you would like to sponsor the hikers for their latest accomplishment
please visit their Just Giving Page at www.justgiving.com/teamsMKA3peaks2014

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Awards recognise local fundraisers

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A Muslim youth charity which helped to raise thousands of pounds for the Poppy Appeal was commended by the Royal British Legion in their Annual Awards Ceremony last week.

Hartlepool and Newcastle chapters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) won “Commendation” awards for their efforts at the Gateshead event.

FUNDRAISERS: Members of AMYA collected tens of thousands of pounds by selling poppies up and down the country

FUNDRAISERS: Members of AMYA collected tens of thousands of pounds by selling poppies up and down the country

Young Muslims, from the two northern areas, had joined their AMYA counterparts around the country and helped collectively raised more than £50,000 for the Poppy Appeal.

The awards to AMYA Hartlepool and Newcastle chapters were presented by the deputy Lieutenant of County Durham, Miss Miriam Harte and The Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mr Nigel Sherlock OBE respectively.

Speaking on the occasion, National representative of AMYA, Mr Wadood Daud, thanked the Royal British Legion for their support and commended the groups’ efforts in raising such a ‘great total’.

“Our spiritual leader and the world-wide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has always reminded us that service to mankind, is both our religious and social responsibility,” he said.

“We hope that all of us coming together to help those who have served this great country sends a positive sign of peace and harmony.

“The founder of our community has written the following: ‘My desire, my wish and my objective is serving humanity. It's my job, my faith, my inspiration and my way’.

COMMENDED: AMYA representatives were given special praise at an awards ceremony last week by members of the Royal British Legion

COMMENDED: AMYA representatives were given special praise at an awards ceremony last week by members of the Royal British Legion

“We are humbled in representing the British Muslims who are helping our servicemen and their families.”

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is currently organising various events to support 20 charities including the Royal British Legion.

More information about the events can be found at www.mercy4mankind.org or on Twitter via @AMYA_Humanity

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A United Britain

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A team of Yorkshire volunteers headed south last weekend to help tackle the rising flood waters which have left many parts of England submerged.

Members of the Yorkshire branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) joined up with fellow flood relief volunteers to provide support for those affected by the recent downpours.

Throughout recent weeks, harsh weather conditions have caused severe damage to properties across the country yet support has begun to arrive from an array of backgrounds.

TEAM: Volunteers worked alongside army personnel to create sandbags as flood defences, and donated blankets

TEAM: Volunteers worked alongside army personnel to create sandbags as flood defences, and donated blankets

Diverse faith groups, ethnicities and races have united to help those affected and are working side-by-side in affected villages across the UK.

Sikh members of Khalsa Aid and volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association joined local community groups to wade through the mud and water and lay sandbags in Worcester.

Dr. Aziz Hafiz, a national AMYA disaster and relief co-ordinator from Bingley, said: “Several hundred volunteers have taken time off work to travel hundreds of miles to assist with relief efforts.

“I can't describe how touched we have all been by the warmth of the communities and people we have assisted. We are proud to be able to work alongside other faith groups and the army.”

UNITED: Volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were invited to pray inside the Christian St Paul’s Church during their work in Staines

UNITED: Volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were invited to pray inside the Christian St Paul’s Church during their work in Staines

Commenting on the work of the volunteers Kevin Purcell, Policing superintendent for North Worcestershire, added: “[It is a] very generous gesture by the AMYA, donating large number of blankets to troops on flood effort in Worcester.

“Your gift and the significance it bears is noted, with troops, police and the community truly appreciative. My words may be kind, they are just words, your action and deeds are so much more.”

Earlier in the week soldiers, members of a local Church and volunteers from the AMYA worked tirelessly to clear and fortify St. Paul’s Church in Staines.

In a sign of public unity, members of the Christian community later invited AMYA volunteers to say their congregational prayers in the same church.

RESCUE: Some people required assistance to get out of their homes as the water level rose

RESCUE: Some people required assistance to get out of their homes as the water level rose

On Friday a group of volunteers from the same Muslim group worked with the local community to prepare St. Peter's Church in Chertsey so that a local wedding could go ahead.

Cllr Shannon Saise-Marshall, Councillor at Runnymede, Chertsey, added: “I'm here at the Runnymede Council... and we are publicly thanking Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth for all their generous help. They are true heroes rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job.”

Volunteers have been based in Surrey, Berkshire, Middlesex, Dorset, Somerset, the Midlands, and North West England. The AMYA is operating a 24 hour rota with a central team surveying the hardest hit areas and deploying volunteers, 4x4 vehicles and supplies wherever there is a need, with the elderly, churches and schools being prioritised.

Any community in need of assistance can find details of how to contact AMYA at www.muslimsforhumanity.org.uk whilst donations towards the ongoing AMYA UK flood relief efforts can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/flood-relief2014 or by texting AMYA56 £5 to 70070 (texts will automatically donate £5).

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