Over 5,000 Islamic Relief volunteers across the country have raised over £1 million to help save lives in Syria by delivering chocolate fudge cakes during the month of Ramadan.
Cakes4Syria was the brainchild of a group of volunteers in Bradford and now, five years later, the chocolate fudge cakes are delivered to 1,000 postcodes across the country, including London, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham.
Imran Madden, Director of Islamic Relief UK, said:
“After seven years of conflict, Syria is suffering from the worst humanitarian and displacement crisis in the world. Islamic Relief is providing much needed aid to 4 million people, including in areas where no-one else has access. But more funds are urgently needed. The Cakes4Syria campaign has made a significant contribution to our work in Syria and we are enormously grateful to all our amazing volunteers who work hard to make this happen.”
Volunteers, including nurses, school teachers and students, deliver the cakes during the month of Ramadan when they themselves are fasting. The majority of customers are ordinary families who enjoy a chocolate cake as part of their Iftar meal – breaking their fast – but they are also delivered to Members of Parliament, churches and even celebrities, including the cricketer Moeen Ali.
Zia Salik, National Community Fundraising and Volunteering Manager, Islamic Relief UK, said:
“Many of our volunteers work extremely hard during the week and then use their free time to deliver their cakes often under the hot sun, while they are fasting. We are enormously proud of these awesome individuals. Cakes4Syria is a huge project with many logistical challenges and we definitely couldn’t do it without their help.”
One of the thousands of volunteers is Hafsah from Gants Hill in Essex, who is studying politics and economics at Queen Mary University in Mile End. She said:
“As a student, we don’t have money to give, but we have time, so we give it willingly. Even though I am fasting, I don’t find it tiring. In fact it is uplifting to know that we are helping people in need and also to see the smiles on people’s faces when they receive their cakes!”
Since the conflict began Islamic Relief has delivered more than £239 million worth of aid inside Syria and in neighbouring countries, assisting over 6.5 million Syrians. Food packs, clothes and medical supplies have been distributed to communities under siege within Syria and displaced people along the Turkish border.
Islamic Relief is also running or supporting camps and providing livelihood programmes, education and psychosocial support for refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
We are distributing 20,800 food packs with enough food for the month of Ramadan to displaced families from Southern Idleb and Northern Hama, evacuees from eastern Alghouta and Homs and to people in the hard to reach areas of Kafrzyta, and Morek in Hama Northern countryside and Latakia countryside where we are the only NGO to have access.
Notes to editor
Ramadan is the most important time of the year for Islamic Relief’s fundraising. The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) estimates that each year in Britain during Ramadan, Muslims give an estimated £100 million to charities. Islamic Relief UK alone raised £11million last year. According to the online fundraising platform, JustGiving, during Ramadan 2017, donations to Islamic charities rose by a massive 487% compared to the previous month.
Zakat Day, 9 June
Islamic Relief is organising a national Zakat day on Saturday 9th June which is essentially a day of national activities across the UK where donors can either drop off their Zakat at key points in their city or have one of our staff collect Zakat from their homes.
Zakat is the compulsory giving of a set proportion of one’s wealth to charity. It is regarded as a type of worship and of self-purification. Zakat is the third Pillar of Islam.
27th Day of Ramadan, 11 June
On Monday 11th June (Laylat Al Qadr, also known as ‘Shab-e-Qadr’, the ‘Night of Destiny’ or the ‘Night of Power’) – the 27th Day of Ramadan, there will be live appeals and various events throughout the country, as rewards from Allah for goodwill or acts of charity are said to be multiplied on this day.
Cakes can be ordered online for just £10 each by visiting the website www.thecakecampaign.org or (from 22 May) via the Cake Campaign Call Centre on 01274 952 144.