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Muslim Teacher

Rising to the Challenge: Responding to Floods in Pakistan

By Sara Mujahid

At my local masjid, for several evenings, a girl, about age 11 has brought cupcakes for sale. She's donating all of the money to flood victims in Pakistan. Giving and encouraging one another to give in the face of disasters is the most appropriate response. Here are some suggestions for teachers to help students get active.

  1. Review the news with students. Ask students what they know and share with students an age-appropriate news story. Ask older students to compile the news on a bulletin board located in a central place. This could also be used to update students fundraising efforts.
  2. Review what the Quran and hadith teach us about giving. Sound Vision has a selection of hadith and ayat at The Quran and the Prophet about Money Matters. In addition, you can review Surah Maun (Ch. 107) and Surah Fajr (Ch. 89) with students. Both surahs contain direct reference to encouraging others to feed the poor, and many students learn these surahs in early years.
  3. Set a goal. Either at the classroom level or the school level, help students to come up with an appropriate donation target. You may consider including an incentive for reaching the target such as a treat, special presentation or a class party.
  4. Responding to FloodsLet students get creative. Students will be a lot more invested in fundraising projects they plan out themselves. If you need a jumping off point Free the Children has 101 suggestions.
  5. In addition to school projects, encourage students to continue their efforts at home and in their communities. See 12 tips for teens on how to help the poor and needy for more.
  6. Continue your efforts throughout the year. One reason that donations to the floods in Pakistan have been fewer than those for other disasters is the nature of the flood itself. It came on slowly rather than as a catastrophe. The victims will continue to require help in surviving and rebuilding for far months and years to come. Encourage students to continue their donation drives by forming a club devoted to the cause. Continue to highlight news from the effected area through bulletin boards and guests speakers.
  7. Make Dua. Remind the school community to duaa for children in need both individually and collectively after salat. Remind everyone of the dua, “The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.” (Reported by Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi)

Please share your experiences and strategies with us.

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