Sunday, 21 March 2010

Our Interview with the organiser of the Fund-raising Dinner

The sister who is organizing the ladies only fundraising dinner and fashion show and has been involved in many community projects in Luton. She has jointly run the BPYO swim club since 2004, has organized numerous fundraising events at indoor playgrounds and organized a Discover Islam exhibition in 2003.

Oakwood Primary School aims to promote moral and academic excellence in a caring and secure Islamic environment, providing opportunities for the realisation of our children's fullest potential. Oakwood is an OFSTED registered primary school for boys and girls established as a charitable trust in 2008. We provide a balanced and comprehensive curriculum drawing on Islamic knowledge and incorporating the National Curriculum. We aim to promote moral and academic excellence, whilst developing children's spiritual needs, so that they are better equipped to meet the challenges and responsibilities of adult life.

What is your current event about?
I am currently organising a fundraising dinner, fashion show and charity auction to raise funds for Oakwood primary school.  The dinner is going to be this coming Saturday 20th march at quality hotel. 
My self and a team of 8 other sisters have been busy working on this project since January.  Right from the beginning we were very blessed with donations from companies for the charity auction including a cottage break in Wales, personal styling experience with Amirah Fashions, bespoke hand painted canvas and much, much more.  We were also amazed by the number of companies who were willing to donate items for the dinner for free (Al-Nikah wedding services are giving us the stage, Al-Visaj wedding services are providing us with screens and the stage back drop, Jus Desserts are providing 2 chocolate fountains, paid for the printing of the flyers and Balloonies will be decorating the hall).  Other companies offered us a hugely discounted rate which helped us to keep our costs as low as possible such as Quality Hotel and Shahi Naan Kebab.  We have been truly humbled by the amount of support people were willing to offer us.
We hope that evening will be very enjoyable with 2 separate fashion shows.  The first is showcasing Asian outfits from Fabeha and the second is showcasing Hinaz Jilbabs.  We felt it was very important to show both the clothing that women may choose to wear under their jilbab and at ladies only functions but also have a section of jilbabs aswell to showcase the different styles of outer garments.  We were very careful when selecting the company for the jilbab section.  We wanted to choose jilbabs that may have slight decoration on them but not too much that they become an adornment in themselves.
I pray that Allah continues to bless this event and that it runs smoothly on the night and we manage to raise significant funds for the school.

What was the cause that made you organise this event?
My main motivation for organising this current event is to raise much-needed funds for Oakwood Primary School.  My daughters have all attended this school since its inception in april 2007.  I have such a passion and belief in this school that I am happy to help it in anyway that I can.

What is the importance of such fundraiser events for our community?
For me, the main importance for the event is to raise funds for the school.  As a side issue, it is wonderful to be able to organise something that is Insha’Allah going to give so many sisters a good night out.  There are such few opportunities for us sisters to glam up and literally 'let our hair down' that it is great to be able to organise one for the community which is also for a good cause.  I feel that it is part of a woman's fitrah to want to look nice.  It is of course best to do this in the comfort of our own homes but it is also nice, from time to time, to do this together with other sisters at a secure venue.
What is the importance of such fundraising events for the youth?
I feel that it is great to be able to provide the Muslim teenage girls with a halal night out that they can enjoy with their mum, aunt and friends.  For the youth today they are surrounded by so much haram temptation that they see at school, college and TV.  They are unable to go to their school prom, they might not be allowed to go out with friends at night because it is not a safe environment and music is a definite no-no.  Our event has provided them with an opportunity to wear their best frock and enjoy a delicious meal whilst watching a fashion show of modest clothing and jilbabs set to halal nasheeds.  If we had more of these events then maybe our teenage girls would no longer feel tempted towards the so-called glitz and glamour of modern life.
However, it is far more important for the community to provide study circles and Islamic get together with young girls where they can sit, discuss and learn Islam with someone the young girls can relate to.  I think our town is in desperate need of such a group for our young girls.  Community events that focus on fun and enjoyment are fine from time to time but regular events that will help nurture the true love of Islam into our young girls hearts is what is really needed.  We really need some knowledgeable girls in their late-teens who can be role models for our young girls and set up such groups.

How was the response of the Muslim women and how fast the tickets were sold out?
MashaAllah the whole team were amazed at the response to this event. We started selling tickets on the Wednesday and by the following Tuesday all 160 tickets were sold out.  It was a great morale boost because often the most stressful time of organising any fundraising event is the fear that you won't sell enough tickets to cover your expenses and actually raise funds on top.  But mashaAllah with the sell out of the tickets and the charity auction on the night we hope we will raise a significant amount for the school.

Are there any future events you are organising or planning to organise?  
After this event I definitely need a very long break from fundraising. MashaAllah it is great to organise events and raise money for charity but it is hard if you are also a busy mother and wife.  I think after 3 months of very hard work I need to turn my attention back to my family and home.  As a Muslim woman I feel strongly that my most important job should be looking after my Islam, my husband, my children and my home.  I feel that such duties are what will ultimately get me to jannah inshaAllah.  My greatest challenge is striking the right balance with all these responsibilities. 

Many thanks to the sister for organizing the event and for her time.

1 comment:

  1. Assalamu Alikum

    Jazakallah sisters for the great dinner we all enjoyed. It was well organised and was excellent opportunity for women and girls to enjoy their time. keep it up inshallah.

    If you did go (or did not) please do leave a comment.