THE ONLY BI-LINGUAL AND BI-WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

Volume 17 Issue 449- Dhul Hajjah 24, 1438 AH September 15, 2017
 
 
 
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   :: Youth / Education
::“Did You Thank Allah for Your Eyesight?
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.”
What he had written was: “Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.” Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing?
Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
“It is He, Who has created for you (the sense of) hearing (ears), sight (eyes), and hearts (understanding). Little thanks you give.”
[surah Al-Mu’minun; 78]

::Muslim Food Bank Success Stories!“After Hardship Comes Ease”

A Syrian Man Finds Success in Canada
At the height of the Syrian upheaval in 2013, Taha Abadi witnessed the
destruction of his hometown before his eyes. Bullet holes covered the walls of schools
and hospitals. The noise of the shootings silenced the streets and the falling of the
bombs forced people to run for safety every few days. What the United Nations
dubbed as ‘the great tragedy of our century’ was Taha’s reality though it all felt like a
terrible nightmare.
Not a single day went by when Taha didn’t imagine the worst case scenario for
his four kids. The throes of war forced him to move his young family to Jordan but
moving to a new country didn’t come without challenges. How was Taha going to pay
for rent and food? Taha wasn’t picky about what kind of work he is willing to do. He
took up the first job that came his way so he could put food on the table.
After many years of sheer struggle, things finally took a turn for the better
when Taha’s application to seek asylum in Canada was accepted. When Taha first
arrived in BC last year, he wasn’t sure if he should go back to school, get some sort of
certification, learn English or look for flooring work, a trade he had years of
experience in. But he was sure of one thing and that was to become financially
independent within one year of immigrating to Canada.The Muslim Food Bank & Community Services tasked caseworker Saalih
Abdurraheem in helping Taha navigate the Canadian job market. When Saalih first
met Taha, he really appreciated his keen interest in being able to provide for his family
himself.“He insisted that he doesn’t want to go on welfare assistance,” Saalih recalls.
Saalih’s familiarity with Syrian culture helped him in creating a trusting bond with
Taha and his family. Saalih lived in Syria for fifteen years before he moved to Canada
and knows all too much about what it’s like to be a refugee. He is among hundreds of
thousands of displaced Palestinians who were forced to take refuge in neighboring
countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.Saalih was determined to help Taha not only secure a job but to also support
him overcome the challenges that come with being newcomers in Canada.
“Newcomers miss their family back home and go through what is called
cultural shock,” Saalih explains. “In the first few months, they feel that they are not
going to be able to adapt to fit in the new environment.”
Saalih consoled Taha by telling him that every new immigrant to Canada goes
through this period and that patience is key to overcoming this difficult phase. Saalih
also understood that being the breadwinner what Taha needed most was finding work.
Saalih felt that Taha’s inability to speak English would be an impediment to
securing a job but he didn’t give up. He taught Taha the basics of how the job market
here works and created a resume for him from scratch. He also encouraged Taha to
volunteer so he would have some Canadian experience to speak of.
Having connections in the local construction industry also came in handy.
Saalih referred Taha to his friend, Zayn, who works in flooring. After just one day of
Taha volunteering with Zayn, he was offered a job.
Six month later, Saalih met Taha to get an update on how he is doing. Saalih
was delighted to find out that Taha had secured a contract to do flooring for all
sixteen storeys of an apartment building. Taha didn’t have to tell Saalih how happy he
was, he could see it in his eyes.
“I am really very, very happy for him,” Saalih said. He is quite amazed at the level of success Taha has achieved in such a short amount of time and credits Taha’s determination for it.
These are real stories where our volunteers have an impact on members of our
community helping them progress in their lives. InshaAllah next week we will bring
you another story. Please join us to have a purpose in your life to make a difference in
the lives of your brothers and sisters by coming to our events and registering as a
volunteer or donating to your organization, the Muslim Food Bank and Community
Services Society (usually referred to as Muslim Food Bank) at
www.muslimfoodbank.com/donate.
Our email is contact@muslimfoodbank.com andtelephone number is 1-866-824-2525.

::Community Service Ideas for Youth: Why Giving Back Matters
By: Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD
If you are searching for community service ideas for children, you may be hoping to help them: 1) Meet school or scouting service requirements; 2) Build positive resumes for college; and/or 3) Develop into more empathetic and caring young people.
Whatever the reasons, it’s helpful to understand why learning to give back to others is vital for positive youth development and how parents, schools, and communities play an important role. With the right community service opportunities from kindergarten through high school, young people can grow from an understanding of how they fit into society to how they can help solve societal problems. This developmental process grows empathy and fosters children’s identities as engaged citizens, the topic of Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation.
How do young people learn to make community service a way of life rather than something expected or required of them? The three most important ways children and teens learn to express their caring for others and evolve toward active citizenship is through:
Responsible actions
Leadership
Innovative thinking

These three ways of caring develop over time—from elementary through high school. This article explains each developmental phase and provides links to community service ideas, resources, and programs that can help you find the right fit for your child, class project, or service club.
Elementary School:
Learning to be Responsible
In these early years, we lay the foundation for responsible citizenship. Children learn kindness, respect, and empathy—internal strengths that connect them to others. You can’t just talk about these feelings and expect understanding; kids need to experience them. Many programs like scouts, church groups, and service clubs are places children learn and experience these positive values. But these ideas also need to be reinforced at home. How to Instill Compassion in Children describes ways parents foster these internal strengths through practicing compassion and teaching kids how to cope with anger.
Character education in the early years helps build strengths like honesty, responsibility, fairness, and compassion— internal assets that lead to happiness and well-being. These are the kinds of human qualities that foster responsible citizens, children who grow up to donate to food drives, recycle their trash, or help during a crisis.
Community Service Ideas for
Younger Children:
Kids Care Clubs – Provides opportunities to work with other kids performing community service projects. Sponsored by generationOn and Points of Light.
Kid World Citizen – Activities that make young minds go global. 35 community service projects for kids.
One Warm Coat – A national non-profit organization that assists in the donation of coats.
Start a Snowball – Inspires children to engage in doing good. Offers grants to kids to help them get their projects off the ground.
40 Ways Kids Can Volunteer – Lists 40 interesting and unique ways children can volunteer.
Middle Years: Learning to Improve the Community
In order for communities to grow and thrive, people must step up and take leadership roles. Many children as young as ten have the capacity to inspire and mobilize others. Consider the story of Eden Eskaros, who on a visit to Mexico noticed children were not wearing shoes. When she returned home, this ten-year-old enlisted the aid of her community and sent over 1,000 pairs of shoes to her new friends south of the border.
When children learn to improve their communities, they develop the capacity to organize others. They acquire problem-solving, planning, time management, and marketing skills. They learn about community agencies and how local governments work. Experiences that involve teamwork, collaboration, and interaction are training grounds for future organized citizens, people who set goals, work within established systems, and motivate others to help. These kinds of citizens coordinate food drives, develop recycling programs, or take part in community-action committees. In the middle years, children can learn the organizational and leadership skills that enable them to take more active roles in their communities as young adults.
Community Service Ideas for
Middle-Age Children:
Generation on Service Clubs – Inspires, equips, and mobilizes youth to take action through service clubs, schools, youth organizations, campaigns, and youth leadership initiatives. Sponsored by Points of Light.
Kid Activities – Contains numerous community service and activity ideas for youth.
Compassionate Kids – Dedicated to teaching children compassion towards the Earth, people, and animals.
Youth Service America – Working with partners around the world, YSA helps young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues.
American Red Cross – Offers middle school service clubs for schools, as well as good information about how individuals can volunteer.
The Teen Years:
Learning to Solve Societal Problems
Just as businesses require innovation and the ability to respond to change, so do communities and nations. By the time children reach adolescence, their brains are capable of understanding complex issues and exploring the root causes of problems. In order for democracies to thrive, citizens must question and respectfully debate how to improve society – how to change established systems that are inefficient or unjust.
Service-learning, particularly in the high school years, offers young people unique opportunities to link what they learn in the classroom to real world situations in their communities. Often, these experiences push them out of their comfort zones to see the world in new ways. But service-learning need not be confined to classrooms. In fact, opportunities abound for families to learn and serve together. These experiences are often transformative for teens and teach them how to think critically about the world around them. How Teenagers Become Passionate About Giving describes this transformative process that involves confronting moral dilemmas and reflecting on the values instilled during childhood.
Community service experiences during adolescence train teens to become innovative citizens, people who see beyond surface causes and effect change in their communities and beyond. These kinds of citizens question why some people face hunger, debate solutions to clean energy, or investigate the relationship between race and poverty.
Community Service Ideas for Teenagers:
50 Community Service Ideas for Teen
Volunteers –
Fifty great service ideas from TeenLife.
Do Something.org – One of the largest organizations for young people to get involved in community service and social change.
VolunTEEN Nation – Provides a vast database of volunteer opportunities searchable by interest, location and age restriction.
Volunteer March – Connects volunteers with non-profits in their community.
Youth Volunteer Corp – National organization with local volunteer programs for youth.
No matter how young or old, everyone benefits by participating in community service. We have the capacity to help children and teenagers become GREAT citizens — compassionate people who are responsible, organized, and innovative. Not only will they serve the good of the nation, but they will become tomorrow’s ethical business leaders, parents, and workers.
Parents, educators, and community leaders can help kids become part of a new generation of young people prepared to take responsibility, lead others, and tackle tomorrow’s social and environmental challenges. It’s just a click or a phone call away.


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