In a bid to exemplify the core Islamic values of volunteer service, good citizenship and caring for those in need including the environment, members of the Ismaili Muslim community in Birmingham organised a clean-up and litter picking at Canon Hill Park. Along with the clean-up the volunteers organized a host of activities for children including making bird feeders from old milk cartons, musical shakers using recycled kitchen towel rolls and growing tulip bulbs and vegetables in biodegradable pots. 

These activities form part of a new initiative – Ismaili CIVIC – aimed at improving the quality of life of the communities in which the Ismailis live, regardless of faith, gender and background. In the UK, it is the Ismaili Muslim community’s ambition to engage 10,000 volunteers to deliver 100,000 hours of service, accounting for over half of the Ismaili community in the UK, showing their faith in action.

Elahi Dhanani (16) from Birmingham, says: “I am a student in sixth form and I'm going to be volunteering to help clean cannon Hill Park and help students make bird feeders and share some vegetarian recipes. I think it’s really essential we look after our environment and leave the world a better place for future generations.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Says Margaret Mead. “I work for the Ismaili council as a Family Liaison Officer for families who need support with upskilling, financial issues, housing, educational needs, domestic violence, substance misuse to mention just a few, says Karima Gangji from Birmingham. 

“My hobbies include quite simply enjoying life in any manner, chilling in the garden, spontaneous BBQ's, dining out and more enjoyable eating the amazing dishes my hubby cooks at home. Love watching documentaries especially connected to our planet.

“We recycle, try not to use plastic and just be socially responsible. Looking forward to our vegetarian weekend and sharing our recipes.”

Sunday 26 September marked an inaugural Global Ismaili CIVIC Day, bringing together a community of Ismaili volunteers from more than 20 countries worldwide under the theme of Environmental Stewardship. Activities across the UK include litter picking, tree planting and personal pledges of time.