The Islamic faith has a long tradition of peaceful and respectful trading activities. Justice, compassion, honest work and enterprise are key components. Did you know, for example, that the Qu’ran has more written on the subject of trade and commerce, than any other subject?
The largest portion of the world’s poor, are the 800 million who live in rural areas; great distances from the nearest markets and basic health and social services. The majority are ‘subsistence’ producers or farmers; barely able to make a living beyond feeding their families enough, just to stay alive.
Making enough money to cultivate and then sell a crop for a fair price, so that they can access better health, education and housing is simply a dream for most.
Muslim supporters of the LYF are keen to spread the word about this small but mighty UK based charity. Unlike many of the other ‘household name’ charities, the LYF focuses entirely on helping poor communities both in the UK and overseas, supporting them to become effective, ethical entrepreneurs. We now work with many Muslim communities in various countries across Africa through our Farmers’ Voice Radio initiative.
Not content with providing ‘a hand-up, rather than a hand-out’, the LYF also uses its programmes to bring together different communities and people of faith. Several years ago the charity set up the ground-breaking Oromo Coffee Company – a Fairtrade coffee company designed to support Oromo refugees in Greater Manchester.
Then the LYF set up ‘Not Just A Trading Company’ across the north of England – helping youth from different backgrounds to overcome divisions by forming their own ethical trading enterprise. The charity has also worked to support Arab producers in Palestine/Israel and continues to develop new approaches to bring communities together in the name of ethical trade.
Most recently, Christina Longden, Director for the LYF has been a key driving force for our work to help poor Muslim communities both overseas and in the UK. You can find out more about Chris’ own personal passions to challenge negative perceptions of Muslims here.
The LYF is a very unusual, small charity. Based in Huddersfield, UK, the organisation has minimal overheads. No expensive offices or salaries and there is certainly no feathering of our own nests! We work to keep the vast majority of our funding with the people who need it the most and who can only dream of the privileges that we have.
See www.lyf.org.uk and watch out for our brand new Farmers’ Voice Radio website – soon to be launched!
PLEASE consider donating zakat to The Lorna Young Foundation this year and share our work with your mosque and community groups.
Wasalaam and Peace to all this Ramadan.