The young Muslims who cleaned up Croydon

Whilst many Croydonians were sleeping off a 1st January hangover, a bunch of local young people went to workBefore dawn on Friday 1st January, more than sixty young Muslim volunteers descended on the streets of Croydon to clean up following the New Year’s Eve festivities.Volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), were ready to work their way across the borough in order to support the local environment. Litter picking and sweeping has always been a regular occurrence of the Ahmadi Muslim youths, and as expected, during the height of seasonal festivities, they were ready to take on the task.

Having finished their pre-dawn prayers at the Baitus Subhan Croydon Mosque, the boys headed down St James’ Road to begin the clean-up between London Road and The Queen’s Gardens including Croydon’s North End, High Street, and Fell Road. In three hours of work, the volunteers filled many bags.The clean-up is just one of a number of initiatives taken by AMYA to improve serve the local community. Mr Naseem Butt, AMA Regional Leader South and organiser said:
“Our members have enjoyed living in Croydon for decades and so any opportunity to help our local community is a much welcomed one.
Cleaning the streets of Croydon also presents us with an opportunity to become better Muslims as cleanliness in Islam is an important part of a Muslim’s faith. We are a peace loving and well-organised association which will continue to make this great part of London an even better place to live in”.Our motto of ‘Love for all, hatred for none’ is being exercised for society as a whole

The AMYA’s clear and practical demonstration of what their religion means to its members, and its teachings on how others are to be treated is a breath of fresh air in a world riddled with fear. AMYA is the oldest and largest Muslim youth group in the UK and its members aim to serve their fellow citizens regardless of creed or colour and protect the environment through various initiatives. They consider services to the environment, such as New Year clean-up, as a core part of their British and Islamic values.

Other initiatives include youth training, homeless feeding, charity events, disaster response, elderly home visits, blood donations, collections on behalf of other UK charities and setting up interfaith dialogues. With its motto of ‘Love For All Hatred For None’, an oath and affirmation made standing in front of the community, the notion of ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ is being exercised gradually and effectively by members with a positive response from whomever has benefitted, whether it be an individual or society as a whole.AMYA South has made other remarkable voluntary efforts in improving the area of Croydon. Over the past few months we have:
• Provided food at Croydon University Hospital for the elderly
• Delivered gifts to the hospital’s children’s ward at Christmas
• Worked with Croydon Nightwatch on a weekly basis and provided hot food for the poor
• Donated thirty units of blood: a number that will grow as time passes and as we make more of our members aware of the benefits of donating blood. As a national organisation, AMYA has donated in excess of 6,000 pints of blood
• Sent more than ten volunteers to assist with the Cumbria Relief Effort, in the aftermath of the terrible floods that have swept across the north of England
We hope that all of Croydon’s new year revellers had a great time and wish all members of the community the very best for 2016.