In the true spirt of Zakat, giving is more than just the material (food and clothing, money), it involves supporting the spirit and the mind.
At the heart of F.A.I.T.H.’s mission and programs lies the following: to help those in need achieve self-sufficiency, and through this, to restore their human dignity.
As an organization, we work towards building self-sufficiency in the individuals and families that we support. Our programs help enrichen the lives of our clients by facilitating and empowering them to develop their spiritual, mental, emotional and intellectual selves.
Our primary mandate is to preserve and restore the human dignity of a person. If a person is falling, we have to catch them. If a person has fallen, we want to provide services and support to help them get back on their feet and stay well.
Where most charitable organizations focus on one area (a single, current need such as food, or clothing or housing), we seek to support the entire person. From helping them solve immediate needs and challenges to providing avenues towards building, sustaining and enriching their lives through education, awareness and opportunities. Through our holistic approach to charitable giving and support, we strive to help those in need raise their lives to a higher level.
To achieve this mission, we’ve aligned our mission in the spirit of Zakat, which in its literal and simplest meaning is purity. Zakat is n0t just a form of charity or tithe, nor is it simply an expression of kindness. It is all of these things and more. Zakat in its deepest expression is an acknowledgement of one’s abundance (and the gift of that abundance) and serves as a means to share ones treasure through contributions to aide others: the act of which creates abundant enrichment and spiritual investment– to the benefit of the giver, the recipient and society-at-large.
Zakah helps to minimize the sufferings of the needy and poorest members of society—not simply the giving of material things (food, clothing, money) but rather involves supporting the whole individual: body, spirit and mind.
F.A.I.T.H. operates under the full expression of Zakah by seeking to address and support the whole person—from their immediate physical needs to gaining skills for a prosperous future. This holistic support allows our clients to move from a life of need, despair and scarcity to a life of independence, self-reliance, dignity and self-sufficiency.
When you look at our programs, clients that we support take a journey from need to independence. Many of our clients move from a demoralizing shelter-based living environment to becoming first-time home buyers. Regarding our clients who are refugees having escaped war-torn lives and who’ve suffered extreme traumas – familial death, and left terrified of life and despondent about their future – we are conducting extensive programs. (through a network of social, psychological and psychiatric services) involving mental health from assessment and diagnosis to treatment.
We take a holistic approach to giving aide: addressing immediate needs while at the same time providing programs that foster independence and self-assurance. For example, clients that receive bill paying assistance also receive guidance, training and support designed to help increase their income and financial literacy (programs involving multi-week on-the-job training, and skill certification trainings).
Our programs are designed to support the entire family unit. Our support encompasses/addresses the entire family: men, women and children. We recognize children are our society’s future. As we work to stabilize and support the parents, we also offer programs for their children to develop into healthy, positive people able to thrive. Our enrichment programs, workshops and other cultural activities are structured to expand their minds, develop their intellect, and generate experiences which will better enable them to achieve future success.
And we are achieving great strides: the majority of the children (at the secondary and post-secondary levels) that we are supporting are excelling— most are consistently receiving high marks and grades. One recently has gone on to attend medical school; another nursing school.
“Our goal is simply this: to restore and preserve the human dignity of a person. If a person is falling, we have to catch them. If a person has fallen, we want to provide services and support to help them get back on their feet and stay well. We’re committed to building a better society one person at a time” ~ Dr. Tanveer Mirza, MD.
By the end of their support journey, many of these children in turn, become supporters of F.A.I.T.H. They have become dedicated to the organization and mission.
“They held my hand, and provided whatever I needed.”