"Alraid" summed up the results of its activities in 2020
05.01.2021 / 7
2020 brought a lot of surprises and challenges. This year was difficult but at the same time fruitful for the Public Union “Alraid All-Ukrainian Association”: the Association that includes dozens of organisations and Islamic Cultural Centres throughout Ukraine has implemented many social, charitable, cultural and scientific projects.
Our considerable experience has let us quickly accommodate the workflows of our organisations and Islamic Centres to the new circumstances. Before the lockdown started, we had held about twenty workshops, trainings and lectures on various topics, but the further ones were carried out online almost up to the year end. Moreover, we have organized several dozen educational and training events for Muslim women, adolescents, and a wider audience. There was a wide range of topics to discuss: from planning and organisational work to first aid skills and Muslim funeral rites.
Throughout Ukraine Alraid representatives participated in consultations aimed to take anti-epidemic measures and provide assistance to people in time of emergency. Seyran Arifov, a head of Alraid Association, joined the Coordinating Council for Immigrants Rights and participated in its online meetings.
Alraid together with Ukrainian Muslimahs League held a number of cultural and educational events in several cities of Ukraine. Hijab days, launched by volunteers in Islamic Сultural Сentres in early February, were attended by hundreds of women of different nationalities and religions. This informal holiday of Muslim womanhood promotes dialogue and new meetings between representatives of different cultures.
At the end of the year, we celebrated Arabic Language Days at Islamic Centres and even schools throughout Ukraine.
As in previous years, Alraid supported Summer Islamic Studies School, a platform that makes a significant contribution to Ukrainian Islamic studies development. Of course, the School worked online this year.
In November, Seyran Aryfov presented his book “Jihad. History, stereotypes, modern realities, authentic sources”, that also was an important event for Ukrainian Islamic studies.
Alraid has traditionally supported events aimed at raising the level of Muslims’ religious knowledge and awareness about the basics of the creed. Islamic Cultural Centres have held a number of Quran competitions. We were co-organizers of the XXI All-Ukrainian Quran Competition held in Kyiv, and brought together more than a hundred participants from all over the country.
Following the strategy of support and all-around development of children and adolescents, Alraid launched Druzhba children's summer camp, a number of competitions, and leisure activities for adolescents and youth. We supported a youth football team of Novooleksiyivka village, Kherson oblast by buying football strips and some sports equipment.
Alraid pays special attention to supporting the environmental initiatives. This year, our activists took part in clean ups, A Million Trees in 24 Hours all-Ukrainian campaign and other environmental activities.
I would also like to say about charity as one of the main fields of our activities. This year, charitable projects came into even sharper focus: after the pandemic was announced, in the first months of quarantine restrictions, we distributed more than 5 thousand grocery packs to various cities of Ukraine; volunteers from our organisations sewed and handed reusable masks out in the streets, and some to hospitals.
During the quarantine restrictions, the number of people in need has increased significantly, so we launched, and somewhere revived many charitable initiatives. In a few months, we have purchased over 230 goats to low-income families, primarily in Kherson oblast. We purchased houses for five families in need. Alraid has launched the well-drilling project for mosques and households of internally displaced persons in different parts of Ukraine. At the end of the year, due to close cooperation with RAMU Umma and MuslimeHelfen, German charitable organisation, we purchased 81 tons of coal and 120 cubic meters of firewood and then distributed them among hundreds of families living in villages and small towns non-supplied with gas.
Our Islamic Cultural Centres has been collecting clothes, food, warm clothing and basic necessities. The activists delivered the above relief to the families of internally displaced persons, hospices, front-line villages in the East of Ukraine, victims of fires in Zhytomyr oblast and in Luhansk oblast, ATO participants and those in need who simply asked us for a help.
Homeless outreach programmes are ongoing in Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv and other cities. Within only this initiative, we have fed thousands of people forced to live in the streets. At the end of the year, we managed to hold the blood donation event, which has already been common for the capital ICC.
At the request of the Muslim community of Sentyanivka village, Luhansk oblast, we helped to purchase a land lot and establish a mosque. And this year, of course, one of our main achievements is that we opened the Islamic Cultural Centre in Chernivtsi. Since summer, residents of this beautiful city have been free to go to Bukovyna ICC and learn more about Islam, establish interreligious dialogue and cooperate in socially useful activities. This is very important for us, because, now and all previous years, AUASO “Alraid” has been implementing a strategy of participation in developing an open civil society and a strong rule of law state.
To sum up this difficult year, we are pleased with the results in the main fields of our activities, but we are well aware we could have done more. But the most important thing is that relying on internal principles, the Charter of Muslims of Ukraine, the Social Concept of Muslims of Ukraine, on its own experience and achievements of previous years AUASO "Alraid" keeps on systematically carrying out its tasks, and working for public and our country’s interests.