INSPIRE 2022 | Impact Report 1 ISLAMIC RELIEF CANADA
Inspire 2022 Impact Report
Table of Contents
Introduction A Message From Our CEO
A Message from the Founder of Islamic Relief
Meet the Inspire Team
2022 Inspire Trips in Review
Bosnia: Summer camps with Orphans
Puerto Rico: Supporting Families in Need
Turkey: Working with Syrian and Uyghur Orphans
Malaysia: Psychosocial Support for Rohingya Refugee Children
South Africa: Working with Orphans and Disadvantaged Youth
Inspire 2023 Plans Thank You Message CONTENTS 3 6 7 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 26 27
2022 Inspire Photo Contest
Who We Are
The Inspire Volunteer Program is a comprehensive leadership program that runs for several months at a time. The outcome of this program is to have increased engagement of volunteers with Islamic Relief in a leadership capacity.
What We Do
The Inspire program is designed to give volunteers in Canada a chance to visit Islamic Relief Canada projects all around the world whilst fundraising for the cause to help keep our projects sustainable.
Over the course of several months, participants have the opportunity to gain valuable fundraising and activity planning skills, as well as the opportunity to participate in a 9 -12-day long volunteer trip! On these trips, they work directly with local community members to lead and implement the activities they planned.
Upon return to Canada, volunteers are required to plan and implement passion projects using the knowledge and skills acquired from the program. They are also given the opportunity to join Islamic Relief Canada’s regional teams where they can further develop their leadership skills through independent initiatives, designed and executed in their local community.
We at Islamic Relief Canada know the power of volunteers, we want to tap into their potential and empower them to be changemakers!
Our Inspire program is rooted in our appreciation for the communities we visit, and our respect for their honour and dignity. We travel with humility and appreciation for the communities who are hosting us.
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Our Trips Through The Years
Since 2018 until now, there have been 257 participants and about $900,000 raised.
2018 - 3 Trips
Malaysia (2 Trips)
2019 - 7 Trips
Bosnia (3 Trips)
Lebanon (2 Trips)
2020 - 1 Trip
2022 - 6 Trips
Bosnia (2 Trips)
THROUGH THE YEARS
2022 in Summary
74 Females 40 Males
Raised over $460,000
Raised over $460,000 through 4,500 donors
Through the generosity of 4,500 donors 2022
A Message From Our CEO
Inspire is a flagship program of Islamic Relief Canada and an amazing embodiment of our mission - to mobilize Canadians to transform more lives around the world in the most trusted manner.
This year, we ramped up our trips after a covid induced hiatus and were amazed by the energy and impact of all of the volunteers!
Taking young people to far-flung corners of the world for them to witness and feel firsthand the plight of others has an undeniable impact. They have an opportunity to interact, learn, and play with a group of rights holders in a safe environment. The bonds created in a short time are long-lasting and priceless.
Our Inspire volunteers come back to Canada with a renewed passion to live a life of service.
2023 promises to be a year where our wonderful Inspire team will take this program to new heights and we can’t wait for all of the wonderful memories and impact that result insha’Allah!
Usama Khan, CEO, Islamic Relief Canada
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A Message from the Founder of Islamic Relief
To me, the Inspire program is a dream for the future. Inspire takes action in creating local and international leadership, it is an investment in the youth, and in their social transformation.
In 2022, I had the pleasure of attending two Inspire trips, in Bosnia and Turkey. Attending these has only affirmed my belief in how dynamic Inspire is, providing countless opportunities for the volunteers, and for the rights-holders they work with. Through its programming and exposure, it bonds communities, locally and globally.
The Inspire program provides the chance to fully immerse young volunteers in the day to day lives of the most vulnerable around the world, enabling social transformation. When I was in Turkey, I could see the social transformation our volunteers go through, which would not have been possible if they had not met with young children from the Uyghur and Syrian communities. The widows and children they meet have a special kind of resilience, honour and dignity that shines, although less privileged than the volunteers, they will still make it, with or without them. This is incredibly humbling.
Our program is a catalyst for change and social transformation, creating conscious leaders around the world. When a young volunteer is exposed to the real issues faced by communities, by widows, orphans, the elderly, sick, or displaced,
we are challenging their reality, creating a new level of consciousness and desire for sustainable change.
I can wholeheartedly say, Inspire embodies the philosophical thinking embedded in the Islamic humanitarian, educational and social perspectives.
I have a vision for Inspire, to be a tool for individuals to learn, become community builders, transform lives, and be changemakers. We aspire to educate and pave new road maps - not only for Islamic Relief but for a better world.
Thank you for your support,
Dr. Hany El-Banna Founder, Islamic Relief
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Meet the Inspire Team
Dr. Monem Daymi
Dr. Monem Daymi is an experienced humanitarian professional, Ph.D. in Engineering and PMP Certified, with a rich multidimensional experience in academia, engineering, and humanitarian work. He worked many years in the humanitarian field and served in multiple capacities in Canada and abroad. Currently, Dr. Daymi serves as the Director of Special Programs at Islamic Relief Canada.
He is a board member of the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP). Dr Daymi has 20+ years of experience in volunteer management. He designed and led various international volunteering programs and has been appointed as a youth advisor for the UNDP and has actively been involved at the international level with the Scouts organization and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement. Throughout his professional career, he visited more than 45 of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
Dr. Tarek Faid
A devoted educator with more than 40 years of experience in volunteer management and in the educational field. He initiated multiple volunteering projects and contributed to fostering volunteering initiatives in scouting and in several universities. Currently, Dr. Faid serves as a Volunteer Abroad Specialist at Islamic Relief Canada.
Tarek holds a Ph.D. in Global Citizenship Education. He believes that a valid education should prepare young people to become active and successful global citizens by adopting a relevant and transformative education that nurtures the values of active care, peace, tolerance, justice, and inclusiveness.
Throughout his journey, he used to work in international and multicultural environments. His background includes working with highly successful and reputable—formal, non-formal, national, and international— educational institutions where he has undertaken various voluntary as well as professional leadership and executive roles.
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Umair Ashraf is the Executive Director of The Canadian-Muslim Vote. His recent work involved engaging and educating Muslim communities, empowering them to cast an informed ballot in the Ontario Provincial Election. Umair has been actively involved in developing the Inspire program at Islamic Relief Canada as a project manager, and has led multiple Inspire trips.
Umair further extends his commitment to the community by serving on the Board of Directors for Ontario DECA and the scholarship committee for MAX (Muslim Awards of Excellence).
Umair has completed 60% of his quest to visit 40 countries before 40. He is also a massive sports fan and channels his passion by hosting two different podcasts about basketball and sports.
Nora Abdalaal is currently a Volunteer Abroad Specialist with the Inspire program. She is a social sciences graduate from the University of Ottawa. Nora has been volunteering and working in the non-profit/charity sector for over 8 years. She has worked closely with refugees/newcomers to Canada since 2016. She is also the founder of a registered, Canadian non-profit organization, and has worked with hundreds of volunteers on grassroots initiatives to address socioeconomic gaps.
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2022 INSPIRE TRIPS
2022 Inspire Trips in Review
2022 was a milestone year, with the return of our Inspire Program. We are beyond proud of the accomplishments made by 114 volunteers across 5 countries. Here is our year in review!
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Sarajevo, Bosnia Summer Camps with Orphans
We excitedly began our 2022 Inspire trips with two trips to beautiful Sarajevo, Bosnia! We had 28 volunteers participate in making summer camp a memorable experience for all the children attending, and a life changing experience for our volunteers.
Our volunteers worked with 50 Bosnian orphans each week, delivering psychosocial support programming in a summer camp format. Our Inspire trip included a visit to the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, sightseeing, attending Eid events with the summer camp orphans, packaging food boxes for socioeconomically disadvantaged families and countless group activities!
Additionally, our changemakers had the opportunity to visit an Islamic Relief project in Bosnia, learning from Bosnian war survivors and how Islamic Relief continues to support them.
July 2 - 12, 2022 | July 16 - 24, 2022
Mentor for Trip 1: Dr. Aarif Pathan
Board Member of Islamic Relief Canada
Mentor for Trip 2: Dr. Hany El Banna
Founder of Islamic Relief
Stories from the Ground
“It was difficult for us to put into words the emotions we felt during those few weeks. What comes to mind is immense amounts of happiness. The Inspire program in Bosnia was certainly a wonderful experience for us.
Our hearts communicated, even though we don’t all speak the same language. We strengthened our faith and really became a big family in a short period of time. This was not just a camp, this was an opportunity for Bosnia and Herzegovina to receive as a gift, days in which everything worked regardless of the circumstances.
We have fond memories of when we ate together and when we spent time together, and perhaps the most beautiful of all is when we prayed together and shared honest advice. We are proud of that friendship because these kinds of relationships are created with special hearts.
Thank you and we hope we will meet soon in shaa Allah.”
- Ajla & Amina Current Bosnian Volunteers, Past Inspire Program Participants
“These children - they deserve exactly what our children have. And they deserve a smile, and love and care that our children have.
We can’t replace a parent, but at least we can give them some love and hope.
I strongly encourage you to support Islamic Relief and get involved as a volunteer. Express and embrace the beautiful qualities of your own humanity. Donate your time and money, and volunteer for Inspire Canada.”
- Dr. Aarif Pathan Board Member, Islamic Relief Canada
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We acknowledge the collaboration of Center for Quran and Sunnah - Sarajevo
Maarif Schools of Sarajevo
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Supporting Families in Need
In partnership with Islamic Relief USA!
Our 22 Inspire Volunteers had the opportunity to travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico to get hands-on experience in serving communities in need, and develop bonds that will last a lifetime!
In San Juan, our volunteers packed and distributed 2000 food boxes and 2600 school backpacks to support families in need. They organized a day of dignity for the people of La Perla Community in old San Juan, which included:
• Serving hot cooked meals and drinks
• Distribution of hygiene kits
• Offering free haircuts and styling services
• And more!
This Inspire trip created countless memories and bonds, our volunteers got the opportunity to visit local mosques, learn about the history of this beautiful country, interact with local communities, and enjoy the beautiful nature of Puerto Rico.
August 4 - 14, 2022
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“I appreciate all the efforts made and look forward to going on my next Inspire trip in 2023 inshaAllah!! Alhamdulillah for amazing staff who worked 24/7 to ensure we are all safe and content.”
- Catherine Inspire Volunteer 2022
“I thought the trip had an amazing balance between helping the people of Puerto Rico and also doing activities. The staff and group were phenomenal and made the trip that much more exciting each and every day. The things we did for the community were very fulfilling.”
- Anas Inspire Volunteer 2022
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Istanbul, Turkey Working with Syrian Orphans
In August, Inspire found itself at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, in historic Istanbul, Turkey! Our volunteers had the opportunity to work with Syrian and Uyghur orphans in a memorable summer camp, and visit our projects supporting families in Istanbul.
Our 21 Inspire volunteers worked with orphans, delivering psychosocial support programming in a summer camp format. They were able to play, interact and learn from each other, creating bonds that will last a lifetime!
Additionally, our changemakers had the opportunity to visit an Islamic Relief project in Istanbul, meeting with Syrian and Uyghur families in their homes to listen to their stories of resilience and learn about how we continue to support them.
August 20 - 28, 2022
Mentor: Dr. Hany El Banna Founder of Islamic Relief
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“As we were saying goodbye to all the kids and wishing them the best, one of the girls was crying. Another girl asked her, “Why are you crying?” She responded with, “I don’t think you get it. This teacher, she’s the best teacher there is”, referring to one of the volunteers in our cohort.
It was a wholesome moment that truly encapsulated the purpose of this project, to let these kids experience being kids. At the end of the day, no matter the relationship fostered, these kids took comfort in us. They could be themselves around us because we didn’t know them for their pain and hardships, but for their smiles and joy,
Inspire taught me that money will not solve world conflicts, but rather, it’s human connection.
Inspire facilitated a space for the future change-makers of this world. It is not a one-time experience, but a life changing experience that brought together like-minded individuals. This program is looking at the long-term goal, global community and relief work flourishing.”
- Maria Inspire Volunteer 2022
“The best thing that I experienced in this Inspire program was visiting a family that Islamic Relief supports. To really see where our dollar goes, to really see how we are helping people.
We were able to visit a grandfather and a grandmother who are taking care of two orphan boys, Mustafa and Kamal. Young boys who have InshAllah a future here in Turkey, and we make duaa for them, and InshAllah they have success and hope in their life.
MashAllah, it has been a fantastic program. To see the smiles and the joy on the children’s faces is like none other, especially coming from Canada.
It’s not enough that we just give our money and hear what’s going on in the world. It’s very important that we try to come and see what’s happening, to actually meet the orphans, to meet the people that Islamic Relief helps.”
- Afnan Attia Board Member, Islamic Relief Canada
We acknowledge the collaboration of Ibn Haldun University
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Psychosocial Support for Rohingya Refugee Children
Inspire found itself taking a special long journey to Malaysia in November. Our Inspire volunteers provided psychosocial support for Rohingya refugee children for 72 kids at RISE—a school funded by Islamic Relief Canada to serve the Rohingya children! The camp program included:
• Team building and developing selfconfidence
• STEM activities
• Psychosocial support
• Field trips with students to explore the local community
• And more!
Additionally, these changemakers were able to pack and distribute food to Rohingya families and gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by the refugee communities. The long journey was definitely worth it, as they were able to make an impact and see their donations in action!
September 15 - 24, 2022
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Stories from the Ground
18 years old Ruksana is a Rohingya Refugee in Malaysia. Our volunteers and staff met Ruksana on their recent Inspire volunteering abroad trip to Malaysia.Ruksana truly shows us that when girls are given the opportunity to fulfill their dreams not only do they change their own lives but also the communities around them.
When Ruksana First Started at RISE at 14 years old, she didn’t feel confident in communicating with others as she couldn’t speak Malay as a Rohingyan refugee. Thanks to RISE, she is now fluent in both Malay and English.
“RISE has helped me a lot in improving my skills and fluency in languages. I also acquired new skills such as embroidery and baking. I had a lot of fun here.” said Ruksana
After completing the RISE program, both Ruksana and her sister were offered a teaching opportunity by the principal. Today they are not only inspiring but also a means of helping other orphans and refugees achieve their goals.
“We thought that it would be a great opportunity to help our community grow in all aspects”, Ruksana shared.
“I’m having trouble putting my thoughts, lessons learned, and feelings about the trip into words. It’s been almost two months and I often find myself thinking about the Rohingya refugee children.
This experience was gut-wrenching, yet heartwarming. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was exposed to. These children are strong, smart, resilient, and brave - maybe a little too brave (at least for their age). I don’t think I changed their lives during my time there, but they sure changed mine.
Through this experience, I’ve learned that innocent people are sacrificed for political, religious, and economical reasons. The world is a messy place, but within the mess there are a lot of kind, loving, and determined individuals, the changemakers. No matter what religion you follow, how you look like, or where you come from, you should always be respected and feel like you belong.”
- Wardha Inspire Volunteer 2022
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Cape Town, South Africa
Working with Orphans and Disadvantaged Youth
Our last Inspire trip of 2022 found our volunteers in Cape Town, South Africa. Our volunteers had the opportunity to work with our rights holders on the ground and do field visits to Islamic Relief projects in the region.
Our volunteers had the opportunity to work directly with orphans in numerous ways during their trip including:
• Rehabilitating 5 houses for the orphans
• Providing vulnerable children and orphans with psychosocial support
• Providing STEM-based field trips
• Tree planting and gardening at Al Noor education center for orphans
• And more!
November 7 - 15, 2022
Mentors: Shaykh Sadique Pathan
CEO, Founder of Islamic Relief
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Stories from the Ground
Five families were selected to be beneficiaries of home improvements to be carried out by the Inspire team of volunteers. The Inspire trip was definitely an answered prayer for the families in need.
10 year old Caleb Brittle has bone syndrome and is wheelchair-bound. His mom pushes him in his wheelchair to school every day, a 12km round trip. His family is unable to secure permanent employment due to his illness.
When asked how we could improve their home environment, they requested their bathroom be fixed, and a ramp built to make it safer for them to get Caleb in and out of the house.
Caleb shared a bed with his mom and aunt and wished for his own bed and a lightcoloured room. Despite his condition, Caleb has his own preference, just like any other child. “I am a big boy and want my own bed”.
Every day the family would eagerly await the Inspire family to arrive, and by the end of the week strong bonds were formed!
Alhamdulillah all their wishes and requests were fulfilled and Caleb is proudly enjoying his own bed.
“A memory that really stands out to me is, throughout the day of activities I noticed this little boy shadowing me.
At one point during the activities, he whispered something that I missed. I bent over to get a better ear on what he said, he pointed to my shirt and said Islamic Relief. I proceeded to ask him if he knows what Islamic Relief is, and he responded no. I explained to him that we had flown from Canada to Cape Town to have lunch with him, carry out activities, plant gardens and pray together.
“I want to go with you,” he says.
Stunned by his response the only thing that came to mind was that it was extremely cold and icy where we come from and that Cape Town is much more beautiful.
He replies “but I want to play in the snow”. This stuck with me.
- Mohammed Inspire Volunteer 2022
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Inspire Photo Contest 2022
This year we launched our first Inspire Photo Contest! We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions, showcasing our participants favourite memories and moments from Inspire 2022.
Here are our top 3 winners and a collection of all the submitted pictures for our 2022 Inspire Photo Content
Amani Assaf NamiahIslam
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What’s Happening in 2023?
In 2023, Inspire Plans for an exciting year filled with learning, planning, changemaking! We have BIG goals for 2023 and we invite YOU to join us in making them a reality.
Our program is designed to give volunteers a chance to visit our Islamic Relief projects all around the world whilst fundraising and learning. We want to develop changemakers, community builders, and conscious leaders!
Join us as we tackle our busiest year yet as we take Inspire to new heights! We hope to continue inspiring hundreds of volunteers!
In 2023, we are planning...
180 participants $700,000 fundraising target
It has been a great honour and privilege to provide an opportunity for Canadian volunteers to volunteer abroad with our rights holders around the world. The Inspire program provides an immersive educational opportunity for our volunteers to gain a better understanding of the issues our rights holders face, by working directly with them. After pausing the program for 2 years, it was great to re-launch the Inspire program in 2022 in 5 countries.
To the Inspire team, thank you for your continued dedication to providing the highest quality programs abroad, and working diligently with our volunteers in preparation for their field study.
To our fellow Islamic Relief Canada departments, thank you for supporting the Inspire program, and contributing with many great ideas.
To our volunteers, the Inspire Program would not be possible without your support for our mission, and vision. You motivate us to continue to improve the Inspire program and provide you with more opportunities. Thank you for all your efforts and hard work before, during, and after the field study. We look forward to continuing to serve more volunteers like you in our upcoming field studies.
To the thousands of donors that believed in our cause, and supported our volunteers, thank you for contributing to our projects worldwide.
To the mentors that joined our field studies, thank you for your dedication to sharing your knowledge and experiences with our volunteers.
To our partner field offices, thank you for your tireless efforts to provide a seamless program for our participants, and the rights holders. Most importantly, we are forever grateful to our rights holders for the trust and willingness they have given the Inspire team and our volunteers to be welcomed into their lives.
Thank you for believing in the Inspire program. It would not be possible without you!
Dr. Monem Daymi Director of Special Programs, Islamic Relief Canada
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“The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of their troubles, or to forgive their debt, or to feed their hunger.”
28 ISLAMIC RELIEF CANADA 3501 Mainway Burlington, ON L7M 1A9 firstname.lastname@example.org 1-855-377-4673 (HOPE)
— Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)