The east London events helping Syrian refugees

“Today I was with lots of Syrian children who need Your help!” Pic: Waseem Iqbal

Waseem Iqbal (at the back in blue) at a refugee camp in Jordan Pic: Waseem Iqbal

Could you ever see yourself in the middle of a war zone? Aid workers from Human Relief Foundation in Whitechapel are doing just that in a bid to help refugees.

They are also fundraising in London, and the non-profit organisation hosted a “Frozen Family Fun Day”  in Mile End to aid the lives of those most in need.

 The event is just one of the many ways the organisation tries to establish themselves and raise money.

Waseem Iqbal, 29, a Fundraising Development Manager from Birmingham who ran a night club before joining HRF is one of the members who help run these events. He said: “We do all sorts of weird and wonderful things to raise money in a fun way and try to think outside the box.”

The charity events hosted by HRF are intended to raise awareness and money for needy people in many countries such as the refugees in Syria.

They also hold many projects such as their Iqra Project which the Frozen event was intended for.

A spokesperson from HRF said: “The Iqra Project will help enrol children, who do not have access to education in Pakistan, back into school. There will be a range of activities for families and we are expecting a high attendance.”

Despite being a well-established organisation in Bradford and running for 25 years. HRF have many offices in many different locations all over the world, including their London office in Whitechapel.

One of the Fundraisers Nasrin Shah, 30, from Birmingham told East London Lines: “We are getting our name out there, we know it is a saturated market as we are competing with charities that are well established in the city.”

Shah who has travelled to Jordan to aid Syrian refugees says she is not fearful of going to war-torn countries in order to fulfil her duties.

Shah said: “When it comes to the journey or helping people in need there is never a time where I think about the fear because to me it is like taking a spiritual journey for God.

“Death could happen to me at any time I could walk under a bus today so this is not any different to what I do, the fear is not something that comes to my mind.” 

A spokesperson for HRF said the reasons why fundraisers go to Jordan is to give them first-hand experience of “how their contributions can make a positive impact to the lives of those in need.”

News coverage of the refugee crisis show some refugees who have fled their countries to escape the war are still living in camps and HRF raise money to provide aid for them.

Iqbal said the main reasons why he joined HRF was because of Jordan.

“The war in Syria really started to affect me and I thought what could I do to help. A friend of mine who works for HRF told me about the charity and the opportunities to go to Jordan and work with Syrian refugees that were coming over the border.

“I went along and it absolutely changed my life and it made me want to do this full time. The main thing for me is that they took me there to see how the money raised was being spent.”

HRF’s Work on the Ground

Source: HRF

Iqbal also mentions the emotional state when meeting migrant families as well as some of the consequences.

“It was like a roller coaster of emotions; I had points where I was in an orphanage where I was dancing with kids and making them smile. Other days, I would be siting with families and listening to their struggles, and it made me really think about my own life.

“Just a couple of months ago we lost a colleague that was killed in a militant attack in Somalia and that is something that hit hard as it gave us a reminder of how dangerous the job we are doing is. But I promised myself I would do this for the rest of my life.”

HRF say they do the “Best it can to help those most in need and hopes to continue its work to make an impact. We must all work together to make a positive difference in the world.”

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