10:45AM, Friday 13 October 2017
Volunteers from the Slough Islamic Trust have raised more than £126,000 in a month and are flying out to Bangladesh on Sunday to help displaced Rohingya Muslims.
Around the start of September, when news of Rohingya Muslims being massacred by Myanmar’s army was emerging, worshippers at Jamia Masjid Ghousia mosque in Diamond Road, Slough, began fundraising.
Starting with collections at Friday prayers and from family members, the mosque, which is part of the Slough Islamic Trust, collected about £6,000.
Expanding their mission, volunteers then spent three weekends on Slough High Street collecting money from members of the public.
The trust now has amassed £126,720 and its chairman Muhammad Afzal, 79, will travel to Bangladesh on Sunday with his son Muhammad, 33, and a small group of volunteers on a 10-day mercy mission.
They plan to buy supplies when they arrive in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka and then to travel to the Myanmar border to help.
They aim to make camps, providing food and clothing to the refugees, as well as setting up a mosque.
Mr Afzal, originally from Pakistan, said: “I was feeling that I must go there, because people over there, they’re not getting any attention. We don’t know fully what’s happening there. It’s very important.”
Trustee Israr Mirza said the volunteers would be going out at their own expense.
“Anyone that’s going is spending money from their own pocket [on themselves],” he said.
Delighted with the amount raised, Mr Mirza said: “We were never expecting that sort of outcome but miracles do happen.”
Visit www.sloughislamictrust.com or contact 01753 674022 to donate.
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