I have a dream…
Just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream.
A dream that we transform into a socially responsible society that values community services and makes it a priority in our day to day lives.
I am sure most of us grew up learning that sharing is caring, and that helping others is a Nobel thing….However, can we honestly say that we act on these beliefs all year long?
Do we put these life lessons that were instilled in us from an early age into action?!
Sadly, I will be the first to admit that this is not the case. Not because we do not care, but because we just rarely make it a priority in our lives!
I am hoping to change this today!
I am proposing an initiative I’ve been dreaming of purusing for a number of years now, and I would love any support I can get to make it happen. (Yes this a call for help)!
The initiative “Give Your Time- زكي وقتك” aims to encourage people from all social classes and age groups to donate their time to helping others. The objective of this initiative is to shift our mentality from associating donations with just money, to associating it with time as well. It’s our most valuable asset after all!
Zakah is the 3rd of the five pillars of Islam. You can think of it as the Islamic version of Taxes that is paid annually to help the poor. It is calculated as a percentage of wealth and property (roughly 2.5%).
“The word Zakah itself means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified from selfishness and greed by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth”. ¹
Assuming that the average person/child works or goes to school 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and has 1 month off a year for vacations, that’s an average of 1760 hours a year spent working and earning an income/education. If we apply the Zakah percentage (2.5%) as a benchmark, this totals to 44 hours a year, less than 4 hours a month, or 1 hour a week. A negligible amount of time that can easily be accommodated if we make it a priority.
Giving back doesn’t need to be a grand gesture or volunteering with formal organization, small gestures like picking up a can of soda from the street can count… you just need to add up the seconds.
Every one of us has something to contribute to their society and this is the beginning of my contribution.
Through the voice of يةAudreyال , based on the legend Audrey Hepburn who was well known for her charitable initiatives, I will try to shed some light on the amazing non profits and CSR initiatives around the region. Maybe you get inspired by one and choose to get involved 🙂
I started by saying I have a dream…..won’t you help me turn this humble dream into reality ?
P.S If you are a non-profit that wants to be listed or you know of one that you volunteer in , please share it with me and I will do my best to spread the word.
P.S.S I associated this initiative with Zakah as appose to general donations because I wanted to replicate a systematic and measurable approach that’s easy to follow. I also hoped that this would embed a sense of ownership and obligation towards ones’ community. However, just to be clear, by no means am I insinuating that it is a religious obligation.