The World Federation India Office held a Residential Youth Course for girls aged 10 to 15 years on 4th and 5th June 2013. The fees were subsidised by The World Federation to INR 750 (USD 14) per student which included lodging, boarding, travelling, meals and refreshments.
In our continued partnership with India Federation, we dedicated the last days of the month of April 2017 to holding youth camps in India. Separate camps were held for Girls and Boys, each attended by 31 participants, overseen by 3 administrators and 1 scholar. There were also mentors who mediated between the children and the administrators, in the process learning the reins of leadership themselves.
The Girls Camp was held first from the 24th to the 27th of April, followed by the Boys Camp which ran from the 27th to the 30th of April.
Although we have successfully held such camps before, a special difference this year was an orientation that was held for parents of the girl campers to give them a walk-through of the camp, including the course content. This program was highly appreciated by the parents as they got a better overview of the activities and what to expect from the camp.
Both camps addressed Islamic issues such as Jamaat namaz, Salaatul Layl, Adhan and dua's recitation, Wudhu and Salaah assessment, Taqlid, Buloogh, Concentration in Salaah and learning of basic Arabic vocabulary. This was balanced with social topics including Respect for Parents, Personal hygiene, Unity promotion games, News, Team building activities and Physical fitness sessions/Sports.
Kausar Zaheer Abbas, the parent of one of the girls who attended, said:
"I would like to thank you first of all for organising a camp like this. I see that every year there has been a lot of improvement in your work. This camp is not just a joyful trip but it lifts one spiritually as well. My daughter had a great time...made new friends and was very sad to part with them. She shared her experience with us and we were happy that we sent her for this camp. Overall it was a great experience for her...please keep up the good work!"
At the end of this eventful period, Asad Virani, Manager of The World Federation India Office, was extremely grateful to all those who had helped and participated. When asked for his thoughts, he replied: "A big thank you to all the mentors and admin team to have spared their time for the training sessions as well as camps. Special thanks to Br. Shabbir Hussein Khalfan of Dar Es Salaam for taking time away from his family to facilitate this program. Shabbir bhai's hard work and passion for touching lives has taken our camps to a different level in the last two years. We hope to maintain this annual event in the hope that it will eventually nurture a new generation of confident and spiritually inclined young adults who are ready to take on the leadership of this community."
The World Federation India Office has started preparations for the upcoming Youth Course in May 2014.
Following my brief visit to Gujarat in January 2014 when I had visited a number of madaris in Mahuva and Bhavnagar, it was felt that a follow-up visit for a longer period was required.