2021 Reflections

Published by Shahida Rahman on

Shahida Rahman

2021 has been another difficult year for many.

The pandemic has left people vulnerable. Many were already vulnerable before that, their situations have not improved and have often got worse with no end in sight, stuck in an inescapable cycle of poverty.

Many have struggled to pay bills, heat their homes and buy food. With another long and precarious winter ahead of us, this battle to survive will become even more difficult. Illness and job loss will lead to poverty, striking at the heart of the community, regardless of faith or beliefs.

Our aim at the Karim Foundation is to break the cycle of poverty and prevent long-term suffering both physically and emotionally.

In the spirit of Islamic principles of care, humility and compassion, our mission is to prevent and relieve poverty by providing food and monetary support to individuals and families suffering from financial hardship.

The Karim Foundation supports communities by collecting and providing information on the specific impacts COVID-19 has on disadvantaged minorities and underrepresented groups. This leads to more efficiency and targeted services when dealing with an emergency such as the rampant spread of COVID-19.

We search for those invisible communities who may lack the confidence to ask for help. They may need more diversity in their food items or necessities to help them retain their cultural identity. Foodbanks are open to all but lack the capacity to cater to minority communities with specific needs. We try to fill that gap with vouchers for food, utility top-ups and fuel, ensuring all benefit from the compassion and generosity of the wider community. It is these interventions that lead to positive consequences that allow us to highlight and help improve food diversity, but we still have a long way to go. We have much to learn as the situations of many beneficiaries are complex and need a multi-facetted approach but by working in partnerships with many groups across the city, we are not alone and often the complex becomes a little less so.

We have helped many; those we have not seen or met personally but the comfort that we have is we have been able to help those in need and have made a difference to their lives.

This pandemic, indiscriminate and deadly, has given many the opportunity to put aside their differences and unite in a concerted effort to fight our common enemy. It is unity that inspires us all to work harder and do better to support those in need. The battle continues but let us remember the strength and power we can find in unity.

Shahida Rahman

Chair of the Board of Trustees