The Islamic Foundation for Education and Welfare (IFEW) hosted its second presentation dinner for the year on Sunday 24 November at Darulislam in Bonnyrigg on mental health.

This is the sixteenth event in a series of IFEW Presentation Dinners organised to develop mutual understanding between IFEW, Australian MEFF Consortium, organisers of the Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair and Seena Incorporated, publishers of AMUST with other sister organisations in Sydney, with short presentations followed by a dinner in a family atmosphere.

On behalf of the hosts, IFEW President Sakinah Ahmad presented the 48 years of history of the extended family of Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad and the long track record of IFEW for the last 37 years serving the community in the field of Daawah and education.

Aamir Ahmad, Vice President of MEFF highlighted the unique Multicultural Eid Festival & Fair, first in Australia running for 35 years while Mehar Ahmad, President of Seena Inc showcased the success of AMUST currently in its 6th year of publication as well as other innovative projects such as marking International Day for People with Disability, Grandparents Day, multicultural cooking classes and helping refugees and victims of human rights violations.

The guest speakers most competent in the field included Nasreen Hanifi, President of Mission of Hope, Ziyad Serhan, Co-founder of EducAID and Dalya Ayoub, CEO of Life Matters Academy. All three speakers shared their experience and expertise as well as gave a glimpse of  their current innovative work serving the community through their respective organisations.

Nasreen is a Psychologist by profession and has been providing leadership for Mission of Hope for a number of years. Mission of Hope is a well-known organisation in the Muslim community having been established for 14 years now.

They have created various programs to help the Muslim community in the health and wellbeing sector. Their projects have included Hayat house – Drug and alcohol program, Australian Muslim Achievement Awards, Muslim Mental Health Conference and Luna Park day outs for refugee families.

Ziyad Serhan is a high school teacher who had a deep passion in understanding the wellbeing of his students. In 2018 he participated in a mental health project at his school with Western Sydney University and the Department of Education and this sparked him to get passionately get involved in this area.

Ziyad Serhan.

Ziyad decided to undergo intensive training and then co-founded EducAID and has now run 17 courses, training students, teachers and community members on mental health first aid.

Dalya Ayoub.

Dalya Ayoub is the founder and co-founder of Life Matters Academy. She speaks with great passion to empower women. Although it was started in 2015, Life Matters Academy has become well known in the community for the critical programs they are running for women. This includes health workshops, retreats, youth activities, self-care events, business club showcasing prominent guest speakers such as Yasmin Mogahed.

All these projects that the three guest speakers spoke about are innovative and much needed by the Muslim community and it was a delight to share the drive and passion that these projects are run by these icons in the Muslim community.