While thousands of Muslims across the globe are filled with great anticipation of what this blessed and spiritual month brings, others, including orphans, widows, seniors, children and the disabled, are dealing with the struggles their daily life brings.
Posted on Sun, 2017-05-07 00:02
Click here to read Day 1 of the 2017 conference.
The second day of the fifteenth Triennial Conference proved to be notably productive, covering a wide range of topics.
Appropriately the day commenced with a Quranic reflection by Shaykh Safdar Jaffer on the story of Prophet Ibrahim (as) in Surah Baqarah and the development of his ‘nation of believers’.
Secretariat departmental reports and Office Bearer update
The first item on the agenda for the day was the secretariat reports. For each department, a video was shown followed by a question and answer session with the relevant team members. These areas included:
- Zainabiyya Child Sponsorship Scheme (ZCSS);
- Khoja Heritage Project;
- Capacity Building;
- Islamic Education; and
- WF Aid.
A summary of these reports are:
- Education (Mahmood Dhala) – The Education department has provided a number of education loans to community members in order to allow them to pursue higher education. The department has also supported community schools across the globe.
- Health (Dr Munir Datoo) – falling under the WF Aid department, the Health department supports various global health initiatives. They include: donations of machines in hospitals and dispensaries, running breast-screening clinics and supporting cataract operations. The Health team has also recently supported the construction of an extension to a hospital in Mianwali, Pakistan.
- ZCSS (Masum Somji and Ali Bandali) – over the last few years, significant work has been done to improve the processes currently in place whilst reinforcing compliance requirements from teams on the ground. Alhamdullilah, through this work, the ZCSS fund has moved from a deficit to a surplus. The scheme currently has over 1,000 children who are being supported.
Discussions took place on the next steps for ZCSS and whether there should be greater focus on higher education and donor-reporting.
- Khoja Heritage Project (Dr Hasnain Walji and Shaykh Kumail Rajani) – the Khoja Heritage Project was launched this term. It focuses on preserving our Khoja history and heritage. Khojapedia, the Khoja Studies conference that took place in Paris in December 2016 and various interviews with elders of our community are some highlights from this team. Watch a video about this project here.
- Capacity Building (Dr Akber Mohammedali) – numerous capacity building initiatives have been undertaken across the globe. In addition to the leadership development programmes, mentor training and marital mediation training have recently been introduced.
Dr Akber gave special mention to the marital mediation training – it is the first of its kind. When done well, mediation can help to reconcile issues faced by married couples, whilst maintaining neutrality, impartiality and confidentiality. InshAllah, the marriage mediation service will be launched in jamaats in Europe and East Africa later this year.
- Islamic Education (Shaykh Kumail Rajani) – The work covered hitherto this term has been significant. During the term, the team has worked on supporting tabligh work in Kosovo and Bosnia, publishing books by various authors, offering short summer courses for youth, couples, online seminars and specialist input to the Religious Education Council (REC) in the UK and with the Kenyan government. A number of discussions took place on where the Islamic Education’s focus should be; whether on greater Islamic resources for the community, greater tabligh work (including work in prisons) in our local areas or more online resources.
- WF Aid (Shan-E-Abbas Hassam) – The WF Aid team has been newly formed this term to spearhead the humanitarian efforts of the organisation. As the philanthropic arm of The World Federation it focuses on the economic upliftment of those in need around the world. Recent projects have included: Fill My Cup, Ramadhan Relief, Syrian Refugee Appeal, Iraq Refugee Appeal and the Zainabia Alliance for Refugees. Click here to watch this video report.
The World Federation is also a member of the Muslim Charities Forum in the UK, which is an umbrella body for a number of British Muslim charities.
Discussion took place on the proposed plans for the WF Aid over the next term, donor-reporting and compliance / reporting from agencies.
A report on the work of the Office Bearers followed the secretariat’s departmental reports. The work of the Office Bearers included our new apps (iSadaqah, the Khums App and iSistani), marketing and communications, external media and relations, updates on staff and our recent office refurbishment. This video is available here.
Madrasah Centre of Excellence
Moving swiftly on, the next item on the agenda was the Madrasah Centre of Excellence (MCE) programme. MCE is one of our flagship projects for this term. It constitutes of four key workstreams relating to our madrasahs: curriculum development, teacher training, learning resources and assessment & evaluation. The conference explored the complex process of writing a new lesson (with over 800 currrently in development), teacher development training and the timeline to completion of the curriculum. Click here to watch the video report.
Hon. Treasurer’s update
Our Hon. Treasurer Reza Hooda then presented the accounts for the term. He also compared the organisation’s financial position in 2011 (when he was first elected as Hon. Treasurer) to the position the organisation occupies today.
There has been significant positive change which was commended by a number of delegates at the conference. He advised that the WF is now in the strongest financial position than it has ever been in its 40 year history mainly due to the investment of the Foundation Funds. A discussion is also due to take place tomorrow (Sunday) on the proposal to implement of a 0% admin fee.
After very wholesome dinner, sister Waheeda Rahim, Electoral Commissioner for the term, presented a report on the 2017 presidential elections. This was an uncontested election, with Al-Haj Anwar bhai Dharamsi elected president of The World Federation for the term of 2017-2020. Sister Waheeda discussed her observations and recommendations for the future to ensure accurate data is available for all members and that there are better systems and processes in place for future presidential elections.
Project North Star
The main set piece for Day 2 was Project North Star (PNS).
The PNS team has spent the last 18 months undertaking a strategic review of the organisation. Their work has included creating a plan for the next ten years and preparing a number of key recommendations. These recommendations can be found in their paper, which follow from discussions with the global grassroots.
The global top five individual concerns through the work by team Project North Star were identified as:
- 84% - spiritual development;
- 76% - religious education;
- 66% - career development;
- 66% - business challenges; and
- 60% - tackling family health issues.
A number of comments and observations were made from the floor, with discussions continued late into the night. A number of resolutions were agreed by all on how this would be taken forward (including setting up a transformation steering committee). There will be further details of this in the near future inshAllah.
The PNS team was universally praised for their professionalism, dedication and high quality offering.
The final day of the conference will take place tomorrow, Sunday 7 May 2017 commencing at 8.30am. Some of the items on the agenda for Sunday include discussions around a review of the mixed gathering guidelines, the mimbar guidelines and the elections of the office bearers, councilors and the auditor.
With the arrival of the blessed month of Ramadan, laws relating to fasting are once again brought to the forefront of our minds. Now, His Eminence al-Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (may Allah protect him) latest rulings on fasting and spiritual retreat from this second edition can be quickly and easily accessed here.
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