Although there is no shortage of good causes for charitable folk to donate to in the world, there are fewer causes that can attract significant attention in unique ways (save tragic, large-scale disasters like Haiti’s recent earthquake). One London-based charity has not only found a clever way to give to the less fortunate, but also helps change impressions that people have of Muslim societal concerns. The IF Charity has gained enormous attention from collaborative attempts to break world records, such as organizing the most people to run a 100-meter relay race in 2009 to raise money for the children of Gaza.
That successful attempt has spurred another one taking place this Thursday, March 4, when the charity holds The Big Read, an event aimed at breaking the Guinness World Record for ‘the most children reading with an adult’ in honor of World Book Day. So far, nearly 3000 children have registered for the event, which seeks to highlight the importance of literacy in the UK and around the world. The current record stands at 3,032 achieved by The Kindergarten Starters School at Global Village in Dubai, UAE, on 12 November 2008.
“We try to make fundraising fun and like to involve mass participation where possible. Instead of simply asking for donations, we have been trying to build a movement of people working together to make the world a better place through action,” says Ruhul Tarafder, “This is why we try to involve people in events such as world records.” US civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson, lent his support to the effort, stating “I support the BIG Read because if you can read, you can reason. Reading is like a light to your brain. It takes you out of darkness… Literacy liberates. Reading and reasoning are forces for change, for the good.” A number of authors, teachers and special guests will read from Roald Dahl’s classic ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ to the assembled children.
The event will take place at the London Muslim Centre, in East London, from 9:00am to 9:00pm.
Zahed Amanullah is Executive Editor of altmuslim.com