The Mayor of Croydon, Councilor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor was gracious in allowing us to hold the reception for Charity Walk for Peace in the Town Hall free of charge.
The meeting started with the recitation of the Holy Quran. Short speeches were made by:
Zaheer Ahmed – Chairman Charity Walk for Peace, who welcomed the guests and thanked them for spending their valuable time. He explained how important it was that as a community of various faiths should come together under the platform of Charity Walk for Peace to help those less fortunate. He expressed the wish for smaller charities to get involved.
Rafi Ahmad Bhatti – Vice Chairman of Charity Walk for Peace, who spoke about the charity walk for peace and how we have been able to help national and local charities in the UK and beyond with funds totalling more than 3.5 million pounds over the years. He also played videos featuring the mayor of Newham who was delighted to have the walk in his area for the second year, as it personified the Community spirit.
Carolyn Thomas from the Medaille Trust who talked about the evils of human trafficking and how even in the UK there are thousands of people living as modern day human slaves, a miserable existence.
Mr. Barry John gave an insight of the work of the Samaritans in Croydon and Sutton.
Ms Marilena Ricciardi spoke on the disabling effects of Parkinson’s and how her organization gives support to the community at large by providing information and support group centres.
Ms June Pilgrim-Ndure especially emphasized the fact that while Age UK is a national charity she represented Age Uk Croydon and that they have the task to look after the elderly in Croydon and Sutton areas. The work involves giving support and arranging interaction between different age groups, to give a sense of belonging and self worth.
All speakers expressed their thanks for the work and assistance given by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Elders Association, in the hope that we can all work together more closely in the future, through Charity Walk for Peace.
The Mayor spoke of his gratitude for the work that is carried out by the Ahmadiyya Community especially the Elders Association. He also thanked Mrs. Bushra Ahmad for her tireless work in keeping him informed of the activities.
The Mayor also thanked the Community for their generous donation of two thousand pounds which he was happy to give to his three nominated charities.
There was a ceremony of giving the mayor a cheque of £2000.00.
The President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association, Dr Ch Ijaz Ur Rehman, then addressed the meeting. He reiterated the importance of all charitable organizations, especially the smaller ones, of taking part in the Charity Walk for Peace so that the public can witness the fact that we are working together for the service of humanity and every year the amount of assistance we can give continues to increase.
The meeting ended with a silent prayer. Members of the community had the opportunity to speak to the guests as refreshments were served.