Ramadan Appeal for Muslim Women, Children and Families

August 1, 2011

Assalaam alaikum:

In the spirit of Ramadan, when we remember the most vulnerable amongst us, I’m reaching out to enlist your help for Muslim women and families torn apart by violence and abuse. Turning Point for Women and Families addresses the needs of Muslim women and families affected by domestic violence. This December we will complete seven years of service to New York City ’s Muslim community, insha’Allah. Our services are culturally sensitive, spiritually grounded, confidential, and always free. Please help us keep it that way.

Domestic violence transcends culture and religion and is stigmatized and under-reported in all communities. However, for the Muslim community, this issue is compounded by racial profiling, hate crimes and forced detentions, making many in our community fearful of accessing services from general organizations. This year as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11 we are already seeing a surge in Islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments which will further isolate our communities – especially the most vulnerable amongst us.

Despite various challenges, Turning Point is undeterred and our work goes on. A client recently wrote to us:

“…Caught in a highly abusive relationship it seemed all doors were closed. It had become very hard for me to reach out. I had surrendered to my circumstances and was very close to a nervous break down. For a woman like me who had travelled the world, played sports on competitive levels and is an Architect by profession, it had become very hard… my confidence, my self-esteem was shattered.

Turning Point was the hand that pulled me out, gave me my strength back, showed me the path and gave me my life back.

Given the denial and stigma surrounding domestic violence and child abuse in the Muslim community, publicizing this issue effectively and compassionately is undoubtedly an overwhelming task. Despite this, Turning Point has been able to win the trust of our community and has received consistent support from individual donors like you. Our Ramadan Appeals help us raise a substantial portion of our budget through crucial, generous donations from both Muslims and non-Muslims. Without these funds, we would not have been able to strengthen our programs and services.

And, without the generosity of our community of supporters, we would not have been able to run our youth group, or offer crisis intervention, counseling, referrals for legal and immigration services, connection to shelters, holiday gifts, transportation expenses and emergency cash assistance. To date, we have served over 600 women, girls and children through our various programs and services.

The ongoing economic crisis has drastically decreased the support we receive from foundations. But as financial resources shrink, the need for our services grows. During the last fiscal year:

  • We received 1650 calls and emails – 55% were related to domestic violence.

  • We served 54 women – 45 were new clients (with 60 children) who came to us for direct services.

  • Twenty- four teenage girls and young women participated in our youth activities.

  • Our staff, youth members, volunteers and interns reached out to 3,800 people and distributed more than 6,800 brochures and flyers through community education and outreach at mosques/Islamic centers colleges, schools, community events, conferences and workshops.

But some of our work cannot be captured in statistics. I am so moved by the teenage girls and young women who come together, find support, build self-esteem, and acquire leadership skills. This spring, we successfully hosted our third annual workshop series, “ Mecca to Manhattan : Muslim Women Moving Mountains .” The workshops were facilitated by outstanding young professional women and helped empower and engage the participants by connecting them with positive Muslim female role models. One participant said: “It’s a great place to find hardcore knowledge and amazing stories with much truth. A secure space to meet and really open up and relate with other youth…”

The highlight of our Youth Program is undoubtedly the ARISE NY! campaign, planned, designed and implemented by our Youth Leader and Youth members. Through workshops, the campaign aims to raise awareness about bullying and hate crimes targeting Muslim youth in schools and other public areas. Launched in fall 2010, it was featured in a cover story by Metro New York and in just 5 months our workshops were presented to over 300 youth in public libraries and schools. This Ramadan, our first citywide ARISE NY! workshop will be presented in collaboration with CAIR-NY at Park51 for Muslim and non-Muslim youth ages 13-19 years.

In less than seven years, Turning Point has established itself as an invaluable social service organization that continues to have a dramatically positive impact within Muslim and larger communities. Turning Point continues to be featured in a range of media locally, nationally and internationally. Our Executive Director traveled to Spain as an international interfaith fellow and was interviewed extensively by the media and made two presentations in Barcelona and Madrid organized by the US Consulate and Embassy.

We are grateful for and humbled by the trust we have earned from you, and ask for your continued support of our work serving Muslim women, girls and families. Please donate generously. Thank you in advance for your tax-deductible contribution, which can be made through our website www.turningpoint-ny.org or by mailing a check to:

Turning Point for Women and Families
PO Box 670086
Flushing, NY 11367

May Allah reward your generosity many times over during this blessed month.

Ramadan Mubarak.

Robina Niaz
Executive Director

PS: I encourage you to visit our website at www.turningpoint-ny.org. And if you would like to learn more, please feel free to send us an email at info@turningpoint-ny.org, or call us at (718) 883-9400.

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