Students at the Henrietta Barnett School in North London have raised £161 for Islamic Relief’s Charity Week, a charity initiative that most often universities take part in.

The Charity Week committee at the Henrietta Barnett School is made up of 10 students who formed this student-led programme having already been members of Islamic Society at HBS. Sadaqah, a key part of Islam, and a term synonymous with charity and benefaction, is one of the many inspirations of initiatives like this one.

In order to raise money, the students left confections for the staff with a donation box for those who wanted to share the spirit of charity week as well as general charity collection for the duration of the week. They also held a bake sale after school on Wednesday 7th November which was extremely popular with students and teachers alike as they were leaving school. Throughout the charity week period Mahek Khan,a year 11 student, and I organised a “Guess the Number of Sweets in a Jar” activity which was met with lots of response as well as a large sum of donations. Of the 2 prize jars, the larger was won by Maryam 11B and the smaller by Navitha 7H.

Hamna, a member of the London Institutional Support Team describes Charity Week as a time where “students from all over the world come together and unite to raise money for orphans and needy children”. Online, people can vote for the money raised to go to the causes they keep closest to their hearts. These causes include but are not limited to providing critical healthcare and education in countries such as Niger, Sudan, Palestine, Syria and Pakistan. Hamna also mentioned that a “staggering £1.3 million was raised by students worldwide to fund projects relating to emergency relief, education, healthcare and more” in 2018 alone. When I interviewed students from the Charity Week committee it was more than inspiring to hear their individual reasons for taking part in charity week. Yalda Gafore, a year 13 student and former Young Reporter herself called charity week a “great opportunity to raise money and awareness about the current situation in countries like Syria or Afghanistan”. Likewise, Inaya, her colleague on the committee exclaimed that she “loved that charity week is international” and “unites people all over the world”, allowing the students to raise money for what they all rightfully deemed a “fantastic cause”.

With all the accumulated charity week efforts having raised a staggering £8,122,270 so far, and the masses of students engaging with the news about some of the issues these countries are facing, the future's looking bright as more money is yet to be banked and raised in the future years for causes such as these.

By Tahmina Sayfi