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FOUNDATION

History

Amirah Foundation is a unique venture that began through the personal struggles of our founders, three young Muslim women who came together to give other women a way out of homelessness, abuse and poverty. They decided to set up an organisation that would relieve women from some of the hardships they were facing. By offering stability, security and a means to lift themselves out of poverty.

Our Aim

A world where women do not live in fear of domestic abuse, poverty or isolation but are empowered to achieve their full potential, live in security and positively contribute to their community and society.

Excellence

Our ethos is based on the Islamic principles of caring for our community, helping our neighbours and the knowledge that the welfare of women is the foundation of a strong, healthy society.

Independence

Once they are settled into their own home, Amirah Foundation begin the social support part of our service such as dealing with social services, undertaking Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), liaising with schools, police and children’s services, encouraging self-sufficiency by finding employment, and advising sisters to utilise all their talents and skills to help themselves, such as making and selling arts crafts, jewellery and clothing. Our work is person centred and each person is given an individual support plan to enable them to be empowered to live in independence.


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Our Services Housing for the Homeless What makes Amirah Foundation different than other refuges is that we do not believe in temporary accommodation. The Amirah Foundation believes that temporary shelter only delays the healing process and recovery of these women who are likely to continue worrying about their future and only want to be self-sufficient. Living with other women and children also adds to the women’s stress. Amirah Foundation sets up a permanent, secure home for these women from the start, providing everything from food to furniture to bedding to kitchen utensils. The first few days are spent supporting the service users to set up their new home. Single women are offered a house share and families are offered a family home to fit their needs.

Financial Assistance Many women fall into financial hardship following a marital breakdown, fall into debt, need assistance with the first months rent and deposit. Amirah Foundation offer a hardship fund to help in these situations. Counselling Amirah Foundation facilitate counselling by qualified professionals to all our service users. We access Islamic Counselling via The Lateef Project who are a dedicated Islamic Counselling service. We also work with other agencies to offer support to the children of the families we support.


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Our Services Access to Employment & Enterprise Our aim is to empower the women we work with to economically lift themselves out of poverty and raise aspirations for them and their children. We deliver a ten week Back to Work programme, that enable women to learn how to put together a CV, interview skills, presentations, how to make successful job applications. Each woman is given a personal mentor as well as workshops delivered by a CIPD registered facilitator. In September 2012 we were fortunate enough to have received a grant from the European Social Fund to offer assistance in gaining employment for our service users.

BACK TO WORK COURSE Do you need help to get back into work? We can help you gain the skills and confidence you need to get back into part time or full time work. Covering: CV writing Interview techniques Confidence building What employers are looking for How or where to find a job Voluntary work And much more! Every Thursday at 11.30-2pm Regency House 97-107 Hagley Road Edgbaston Birmingham B16 8LA To enroll, contact: 0121 572 0393 amie@amirahfoundation.org

amirahfoundation.org

“The best form of sustenance is trade� With this in mind Amirah Foundation give our service users the confidence to tap into their talents. We encourage women to make art, clothes and jewellery and sell these items at our Community Bazaars. We offer a start up grant to buy materials and equipment as well as mentor the women in business enterprise skills. Education We believe that education is important to raise aspirations. Amirah Foundation offer accredited and non accredited learning for the women and children we work with. Classes are also offered in Islamic education with fully qualified teachers.


“Thank you to the Amirah Foundation for thinking to support St Basils at this special time of Eid, your support is greatly appreciated by everyone.� Anne Morton, St Basils Homless Shelter

FOUNDATION

Our Services Food Bank Amirah Foundation have been delivering a food bank to the community in Birmingham since early 2011. We offer all our service users a weekly and monthly food parcel. We have forged partnerships with mosques, schools, churches, Central Food Bank, Sisters Project, Ar-Rahma Trust and many other businesses and organisations to build a community network that will take care of the local needy. We also offer food parcels in homeless shelters across the City of Birmingham, and encourage the local community to donate any surplus food from functions to us to deliver to the shelters. Each Ramadhan we offer additional food parcels to help needy families. We also offer food parcels to facilitate community Iftar gatherings for new and isolated Muslim women. During Eid al-Adha 2012 we were donated 87 Qurbani sheep from local residents. With this meat we were able to support 50 families, feed 1100 homeless people around the city, donate meat to every homeless shelter in the City as well as offer an Eid party for a further 50 women and their families in hardship.


FOUNDATION

“Im sending this letter to thank you on behalf of the two clients that received the donation from your organisation during the time of Eid. Both clients have expressed their gratitude and state that donations like that go a long way in helping their low income situation.“ Maxine Faulder, Gateway Family Services

Our Services Advocacy, Advice and Guidance

Housing Services include a range of housing related support projects helping people gain access to and maintain a roof over their heads. The activity is focused on supporting vulnerable individuals to gain the necessary skills to maintain tenancies and live independently. The advice that we provide includes: Financial Advice • Delivery of high level case work, directly supporting individuals and families with significant money advice/debt concerns. • Raising awareness of money/debt issues, it’s impact and enabling people to take positive action. • Building on the guidance given and offering mentoring support to help people embed financial learning in their own home. Benefit Advice • Many women we work with do not know what benefits if any they are entitled to. Our expert staff/volunteers will help all service users to access benefits. We will help fill out forms, accompany them to appointments and advocate on their behalf. Employment Advice This service provides assistance to individuals wanting to gain paid employment. To achieve this aim we support service users in the following areas: • Developing confidence and self esteem. • Building CVs. • Liaising with and referring to learning and training providers. • Offering volunteering opportunities at Amirah Foundation. Helping people to feel safer • These services encompass a range of projects providing support, assistance and challenge to women and their families who are identified as being in need of support with the focus on promoting a safe and secure living environment for all. We work in partnership with the families to actively encourage then to identify and agree the changes required to move forward positively with their lives, enhancing their quality of life as well as that of the community.


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Our Services Intensive Support Outreach The service aims to provide support for families who are identified as being at risk of social isolation as a result of a wide range of issues, including inter-generational unemployment, debt or other risk factors, such as substance misuse or domestic violence. The focus of activity is preventative, working with families and dealing with concerns before they have the chance to escalate.

New Muslim Support We understand the dilemmas that reverts face and our love for our Muslims goes beyond just feelings or words. We are here to address the needs and concerns of our new Muslim sisters in their new journey of life, guiding them to the stage of stable spiritual independence; complete contentment with God. “Without support and guidance many of these women find themselves isolated, confused in the application of the religion and therefore leave the Deen.� (Kevin Brice, author of the Swansea study A Minority Within a Minority)


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Our Services Islamic Courses Amirah Foundation offer classes to facilitate the new Muslims to learn the tenets of the faith. Classes are offered in Islamic law, the meaning of the Quran and its recitation and Islamic ettiquiete. Weekly circles are held to facilitate for new Muslims to meet in a social gathering to offer the support mechanisms and vital support needed.

New Muslim Mentors Each new Muslimah is assigned a mentor that is individual to her. This mentor acts as a holistic support worker who is trained in Islamic Counselling and has a sound understanding of Islamic law. This process will enable love and understanding to develop between the two, trust will be established and also have one point of contact for the new Muslimah.


FOUNDATION

Our Services Family Liaison Often there is much hurt and confusion for both parties when a loved one becomes Muslim. This is often borne out of not fully understanding Islam and the negative stereotypes portrayed in the mainstream media. Amirah Foundation offer family workshops and facilitate family mediation for the revert sisters who have suffered family breakdown due to their choice. We hold family fun days, awareness raising events and invite the non Muslim families and friends to attend. This will encourage awareness and restore kin relations which we are encouraged to strengthen in all circumstances. Children’s Support Services Amirah Foundation offer support services for children of the families we work with. Often these children will suffer trauma due the situation they have faced, to include homelessness, domestic abusive and neglect. We have forged good partnerships to include Barnados, Children’s Centre’s, Children’s Services, CAMHS and local schools. Amirah Foundation also offer: • Mentoring programme for young boys • Madrassa • After school / holiday activities • Eid gifts Immigration Advice We have forged good working partnerships with local and national Immigration Advise and Advocacy services to offer our clients who need such services a quick and efficient service.


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“Just a quick note to say thank you for all that you and your team of volunteers did yesterday. The generosity and willingness to help was very much appreciated.� Tilly, Trident Reach

Achievement

Since our launch in 2011 we have successfully housed over one hundred women and their children. These women who have survived abuse and poverty are now working towards building their futures. We have given welfare support to those who need it and have helped others gain employment or become entrepreneur’s to lift themselves out of poverty and reduce social isolation

Feed the Homeless Eid al-Adha Qurbani Eid Gift Programme was a major series of events across the special Eid period of October 2012. This was a wonderful opportunity to benefit from the concept of giving a third of Qurbani meat to local less fortunate people. We began on Saturday the 27th by distributing meat to over 50 low income families around Birmingham. We continued the next day by giving gifts of blankets, food and toiletries to a local Trident homeless shelter and we finished on Wednesday the 31st with an Eid party for local families in need and by handing out food and winter warmer packs to the homeless in Birmingham City Centre. For each of the days we had a great turnout of volunteers and we have made fantastic connections with other organisations that help the homeless. We plan to continue these initiatives on a regular basis. We have relied upon the generosity of the wider community to raise the funds needed to fulfil this much needed work.


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Why ‘Amirah’?

Amirah is from the Arabic word for Princess or Leader. We believe every woman should be treated like a princess and is a leader in her home and local community.

Our Five Year Goal

We are striving to develop the Amirah Centre that contains a range of facilities including a restaurant, gym, Ofsted nursery, a retail outlet, SPA, health services and education and training rooms. We want to offer a range of high quality services and facilities in a female only environment for women of all backgrounds. Our aim is to be self sustaining so that income generated from the Centre is used to fund housing and support for vulnerable and homeless women and children. We also aim to offer Amirah Housing where we can have a pool of our own properties managed and maintained by ourselves to offer safe and secure housing to vulnerable women and their families.


FOUNDATION

A man once said to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “I have plenty of property, a large family, a great deal of money, and I am a gracious host to my guests. Tell me how to conduct my life and how to spend my money.” The Prophet replied: “Give regular charity out of your property, for truly it is a purifier, and be kind to your relatives and acknowledge the rights of the poor, your neighbours and those in need who seek your help.”

FOUNDATION 0121 572 0393 info@amirahfoundation.org Regency House, 97-107 Hagley Road, Birmingham, B16 8LA Amirah Foundation C.I.C. is a not for profit organisation, reg. 07605912

amirahfoundation.org twitter.com/Amirah_UK facebook.com/amirahfoundation

Amirah Foundation Brochure 2013  

Promotional brochure of Amirah Foundations work in helping women survive homelessness, abuse and poverty.

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