Muslim students from around the UK concluded a week-long fundraising campaign by raising over £1 million during Charity Week (where student Islamic societies raise funds for Islamic Relief). The total was announced at the Charity Week International Annual Dinner that took place in Hammersmith, London on Saturday, 23rd November.

The total raised by students hit a new record for the annual fundraising campaign, Charity Week, reaching £1,356,505.23. Students from Germany, USA, Canada, South Africa and Qatar also fundraised for the campaign.

Charity Week (21-27 October) saw Muslim students up and down the country donate their time, energy and goodwill to raise funds. The theme for this year’s fundraising event was ‘Unite Our Powers’. Students took part in various events and activities including banana auctions, mountain treks and international food festivals across the country. One University even threw their President into the sea – all for the sake of charity!

Raisa Laher, UCL student and Charity Week Lead said:

“We held a number of events this year. We held a sisters’ boxing event as well as self-defence classes for women. The auctions were really fun; we sold a banana for £10,000 and a cake for £15,000. It was great seeing so many people come together from different societies and backgrounds in order to raise money for Islamic Relief. Fresher students raised £2,000 each which was amazing. We saw a great display of unity this year from all those involved.”

Meanwhile, Nouman Zulfiqar, a student from Leeds University said:

“We did a few weird and wonderful things this year to raise money for Charity Week. We did bucketing around the city, bake sales and a trek to the Yorkshire Dales. The weirdest thing we did was sell two lotas (a small water container used by Muslims for personal hygiene) for over £1,000 at our charity auction.”

Charity Week isn’t just about fundraising by students. Local businesses and communities also get behind the campaign to show their support and raise money. This year Purple Patch – a disability group in Blackburn – joined volunteers in raising money by organising a bake sale. Manchester Islamic High School for girls also chipped in organising a range of events including a food festival to raise funds in their local community.

Charity Week began as an annual student-led campaign in London in 2003. Now in its sixteenth year, the campaign has raised over nine and a half million pounds (£9.5m).

Since then, the campaign has gone international with events held around the world by students in Canada, Qatar, Germany, USA, Australia and South Africa.

Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK, said:
“Charity Week epitomises what it means to be united for a good cause. I feel inspired and encouraged by all the students and volunteers, from across the world, who are so passionate about helping others. Funds raised through this campaign will go a long way to help children out of poverty and empower communities. Raising £1.3m is a phenomenal achievement and the young volunteers deserve all the credit. Their commitment and willpower to unite and go even further with their vision for the future is simply inspiring. They have already started thinking about how they will raise money next year.”

All the money raised during Charity Week goes towards supporting children’s projects run by Islamic Relief in the UK and around the world. The projects are wide and varied and include building schools in Mali, refurbishing orphanages in Syria and helping children to go to school in Afghanistan.