SHAFAQNA – Muslims, including worshippers from the Al Falah mosque in Kensington Gardens, Ilford, handed the money over to children’s charity Barnado’s in Barkingside, urging it to help child refugees and trafficked youngsters.
Religious leaders handed the cash over at the charity’s office in Tanners Lane last week.
Other mosques that contributed included Tauheed Masjid and Masjid-E-Hidaya in Manor Park, and Leytonstone Islamic Association and Ashville Road Masjid in Leytonstone.
Lynn Gradwell, the charity’s London director, assured the fundraisers that Barnardo’s would do all it could to help children affected by the refugee crisis.
“We’re so grateful to all those who contributed funds to this collection in mosques all over east London,” she said.
“Without the right support, child refugees are in danger of slipping off the radar, falling into the hands of traffickers and being sexually exploited.”
The charity has called on the government to make sure support is made available for children who are brought into the UK from refugee camps in Syria, or who are trafficked into the country illegally.
The money raised through the mosques have been ring-fenced for use by Barnardo’s’ child trafficking advocacy service.
Lynn added: “Barnardo’s wants to work closely with the government to make sure these children are looked after, and donations such as this really help us to make a difference and adapt to new challenges.”
The fundraiser, which mosques began collections for during the Christmas period, was also praised by Barts Health NHS Trust, with head of chaplaincy and bereavement services Yunus Dudhwala highlighting the importance of helping sexually exploited children.
“Many people in our community want to support children who are vulnerable and who could be at risk of being trafficked and sexually exploited,” he said.
“We’d like to work with Barnardo’s to make sure the support is there wherever it’s most needed.”