Editor’s Notes: To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are highlighting women’s community efforts, challenges, and perspectives. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we also hope that it serves as a reminder that women in Islam should not only be recognized on this day but should be recognized every day and appreciated for their work, efforts, and contributions to our families and our societies.
Maybe it is because of the fact that I like doing the things I do. It could also be due to my life experiences or due to Islam’s encouragement of community work. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I do what I do. I thank Allah for blessing me with the drive to keep going even when it seems like there’s no through road ahead.
The main aim for all the ventures that I involve myself in is to make a slight difference in the life of an individual, child, families, and the community. I’m a human resource officer by profession and a student of psychology as well as a volunteer counselor at the Jamia Family Resource Centre.
In 2008 during the post-election period, my friends and I visited the affected families at the Nairobi Jamhuri Park as a way of supporting those afflicted by the violence. This later became a turning point for us leading us to move towards a more structured form of helping the society. A few Muslim sisters and I made a decision to start an NGO called Light Sisters Organization where I volunteer during my free time. We realized that we would have more impact at what we wanted to do for the society as a group rather than when divided. After all, it is said that unity is strength.
At Light sisters Organization, we strive at making a difference through:
In education, we have been able to organize empowerment workshops for the youth and women. In health, we conduct yearly medical camps as a way of helping society stay health conscious as well as a means of searching for a way forward to a healthier society.
Recently, at the invitation by a sister to work with the youth and help them deal with life’s challenges, I joined Al-Hidaya Youth Initiative again as a volunteer during my free time. It seems that I have a lot of free time from the look of things but that’s not the case. From 8 to 5 p.m Monday to Friday, I’m usually at work. With careful planning, I’m able to juggle my volunteer work, studies, and motherhood after five on weekdays and over the weekends.
I usually see myself as one of those people who will be students for life if Allah gives me the strength. Why? Because it is enlightening and makes one better in what they do, and I find learning interesting too. I know someone somewhere may say, “she finds learning interesting? What?” Truthfully, I find it interesting. Yes of course if it’s in something I already have a passion for...okay you got me there.
The woman is a pillar of society. I believe as women we can actually do a lot if we choose to, the same way that the women during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and mothers of believers did.
Photos via Flickr Surlan Soosay (featured image) IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (cover image)