Project Rise is a philanthropic endeavour initiated by the Dawoodi Bohra community implemented wherever the community resides across the world. As the name suggests, its aim is to raise and elevate the less fortunate among us. It strives to foster a culture of empathy, awareness and generosity such that no individual is neglected, overlooked or marginalised.
Project Rise deals with a wide spectrum of initiatives and activities in healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation, environmental responsibility and conservation, and education. It endeavours to bring about an uplift in people’s lives so that they may live in comfort and with dignity.
As an umbrella initiative, the function of Project rise is twofold. It sets out to synergise the various philanthropic contributions of the community around the world, while also initiating bespoke projects under its own banner.
An integral part of the Project Rise initiative is ‘Turning the Tide’ – a global drive to eliminate single-use plastic and rid water bodies of plastic pollution. Bohras regularly lead practical efforts to protect, enhance and clean-up the natural environment where they live while raising awareness of the need for sustainable development.
Dawoodi Bohra men, women and children regularly volunteer in locations around the world – including here in Canada – to clean up waterways in their neighborhoods and encourage everyone to lead more sustainable lives with the goal of eliminating the consumption of single-use plastic.
Cleanliness (nazafat) is an integral component of Islamic faith, and His Holiness urges community members to engage in clean-up drives, tree planting and other green initiatives to foster and promote a clean living environment wherever they reside.
As well as organising and participating in regular community initiatives to clean up local environments, Dawoodi Bohras take very seriously their individual responsibilities to live each day in environmentally friendly ways, avoiding wastage and pollution, recycling, nurturing nature and showing kindness to all forms of life.
This is not a newly adopted conviction. In 1992, the late His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin established Burhani Foundation, a charitable trust dedicated to making the preservation of the environment the responsibility of every citizen. In 2017, his successor, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin initiated a worldwide program to plant 200,000 saplings as a means of conserving the environment and raising awareness about environmental issues.
Feeding the Hungry
The Dawoodi Bohra community kitchen, better known as FMB, is a groundbreaking initiative envisioned and started by the late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. It has been a cause particularly close to the heart of his successor, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin who has personally seen to its growth and development over the years. FMB aims to deliver one hand-cooked, wholesome meal to every Bohra household across the world, each day.
A sister initiative known as ‘Dana Committee’ complements the community kitchen by striving to ensure that not even a grain of food goes to waste. Systems are put in place so that only the required amount of food is prepared for any given occasion. If however there is excess as a result of unforeseen circumstances, the extra food is properly packaged and distributed to those who put in a request as well as those in need.
As an extension of the FMB initiative meant to reach out to the broader society, food drives are conducted on a regular basis by community members across the world. These are done either in partnership with food banks and other charities or by the community itself. Expert advice from nutritionists is shared so that people maintain a healthy diet and make the most of existing provisions so as to curb waste.
Women in the Bohra community are encouraged to pursue higher education, raise families, become entrepreneurs and business owners as well as have successful careers in a range of professions . Bohra women are often highly noticeable in society, due to their vibrant and colourful patterned ridas – whether in the office, on the school run or attending lectures at university.
His Holiness reiterates that women are vital members of the community who play key roles in both the home and society. Guided by the example of prominent female figures in Islam’s history, such as the Prophet Mohammed’s wife Khadijah, his daughter Fatema and grand daughter Zainab, women of the Bohra community aspire and strive to make positive contributions to society at large.