Ramadan Mubarak

Dear Project Sakinah Family,

Ramadan Kareem,

It’s been a year since we broke the story to the American Muslim community about the sex-trafficking of minor Muslim girls in Columbus, Ohio. It was a story about our girls who ran away to escape parental abuse and ended up being trafficked.

Dar al Islam, the parent organization of Project Sakinah, has been telling us that they would not be able to continue supporting this Project without the community showing its support.

Accordingly, last Ramadan, I wrote emails and personal letters to all my friends and family, and to community members asking them and many of you to support the project so we can work together to address, not only sex-trafficking, but also gangs, drugs, and many other threats that are facing the American Muslim youth and their families.

In the following days, you all made me cry over and over by sharing my emails and blog within your networks, by posting my messages on your Facebook walls, by tweeting about it, and by sending about $40,000 during Ramadan to support Project Sakinah. Alhamdulillah.

Today, one year later, I am here to report to you what happened with your donation.

First and foremost, your response assured Dar al Islam that their initiative is appreciated and that the community is awakening to the need of our youth and families. They decided to support us for another full year. I am thankful for their ongoing support and guidance, and their trust and belief in our community’s capacity to respond to these important needs. I am thankful to you for getting our back. Thank you.

With your donation and Dar al Islam’s support we continued our journey of growing strong families.

By the end of 2013, we reached more than 300,000 people through online and on-ground outreach campaigns and programs.

The year 2014 is already looking more promising, Alhamdullilah.

In February, we commemorated the fifth anniversary of Sr. Aasiya Zubair’s murder by re-engaging the community through a national webinar.

In March, in collaboration with the My Jihad campaign, we launched a social media campaign to stop Family Violence, to Foster Healthy Marriages and to promote Effective Parenting. MuslimMatters joined hands with us. The project was mentioned on national TV.

We also launched the Sakinah Network of Imams & Chaplains in the same month.

In April, we organized our first national webinar about Muslim foster parenting featuring Imam Abbas Ahmmed, Sr. Eva Jean Ahmed, and Attorney Yusra Gomma.

In May, we organized our first Mothers’ Day Picnic and we participated at the ICNA Convention in Baltimore, MD.

This month, our Columbus Team organized a one-day conference “Secure the Future” to engage the entire community in addressing youth issues. Our other teams also organized programs on these topics and we are looking into organizing youth mentor and parent educator trainings in various communities. We have engaged police departments, children services, Salvation Army and many other agencies to work with local Muslim communities.

With your donations we have also:

We expect to reach twice as many this year as we did last year, inshaAllah. We have a wish list too, but without your support we cannot continue this work. Please donate now.

As you all know, Project Sakinah is Dar al Islam’s initiative. Dar al Islam originally committed to three years of full support. We are now in our fifth year.

Our projected budget for this year is $350 K. We are funded for $274K. This budget is barely enough to maintain the activities and campaigns that we are currently doing. In order to continue and grow the project, we need to raise at least $150K this year.

We need to add more staff members to sustain what we have, to broaden our outreach, and to strengthen our capacity. Without your help, it is not possible.

Your donations will support the following:

I hope and pray that you choose to support us again so we can continue growing strong families and safer communities for our youth and families.

Please donate generously now. Your donations are tax exempted. The project is Zakat eligible.

Last but not least, in this blessed month, please keep us in your prayers.

Sincerely yours.

Zerqa Abid

Our Collaborators:

You have received this email because you have supported our work through your donations or have attended our programs and have requested to keep you posted about the Project.