Your Zakat can help people retrain and get back into work
Lockdown has been easing in recent weeks, but its financial impact hasn’t. Many now face the prospect of job losses and long-term hardship. As a community, and as a country, we’ll all need to pull together to get through this.
The Muslim community is already deeply affected by unemployment and low paid unstable work. Before lockdown, less than 20% of UK Muslims were in full-time work, compared to nearly 35% of the general population, according to the Social Mobility Commission.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits raised above 2 million for the first time since 1996, according to the Office for National Statistics. Economists project that levels of unemployment will rise much further still with around 650,000 more people believed to be out of work since March. As has been widely reported, the Muslim community has been more affected than the wider population by both the public health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our community is vulnerable but resilient
The good news is Muslims in the UK have always been one of the most generous faith communities when it comes to helping those in need, and this has been seen once again since this pandemic hit. What’s more, Zakat, the third pillar of Islam, is a form of religious social welfare that can help the community address these issues. We’ve already seen the power of your Zakat to help in the early months of this crisis, but we know there will be much more need for it in the difficult times ahead.
The NZF Work Fund uses Zakat to give grants to Muslims in need across the UK to gain the skills to find a job or improve their income. In the coming months, we expect to see more Muslims coming to us for this type of support. This could be to get training to change career, improve their job prospects in a more challenging market or to cover new equipment and tools needed to adapt to new ways of working.
So far this year, 4790 Muslims have chosen to allocate some Zakat to NZF’s Housing & Work Fund, which also helps Muslims get into and stay in safe, affordable homes. This support has already helped many Muslims get the skills they need to get work or improve their income, and it will become even more vital in the difficult times ahead.
Your Zakat helped Abbas, a practising doctor in Libya before he fled to the UK, to cover the fees to retrain to practise in the UK. It also helped Rashida, whose training helped her get off the streets, take control of her life and fill an important role as a phlebotomist within the NHS. Both of these are vital, frontline healthcare roles which have been particularly important during the coronavirus crisis.
At NZF, we want to provide proactive solutions, which help people in need get their own lives back on track. This is a key goal of the Work Fund. By getting Zakat-eligible people into stable, better-paid work, they have a better chance of getting out of poverty for good.
How you can help
Being able to work and bring in money is vital for people to overcome poverty and hardship. As a community, we need to do everything we can to avoid a whole generation of Muslims facing long-term unemployment.
The response to the immediate crisis has been amazing, but the hard work of getting the community back on its feet starts now.
If you or someone you know needs the support of the NZF Work Fund, please point them in our direction: https://nzf.org.uk/apply/work-fund
Help Muslims out of poverty and back into work
Give your Zakat to pay for courses and skills for work. These courses can help Muslims get the right qualifications to get back into work or get better jobs.
Be there for your community in their time of need. Your Zakat can help Muslims back into work and out of poverty for good.