Muslim Community Gathers To Provide Support For Those Affected by COVID-19 Across Ottawa-GatineauWritten by United Muslim Organizations of Ottawa Gatineau
On March 13, COVID-19 found its way to Ottawa-Gatineau and the Muslim community knew it had to find a way to help.
Following the nation-wide state of emergency, the United Muslim Organizations of Ottawa-Gatineau (UMO-OG), in partnership with national organizations such as Islamic Relief, Human Concern International, National Zakat Foundation, and other local youth organizations decided to come together to provide assistance to those in need.
Through this program, we aim to support those who are most affected such as the elderly, sick, immuno-compromised, self-quarantined, and/or low-income.
“Mosques have been closed since March 15 and prayer and regular services have been suspended, however, we recognize that some of our congregation members, neighbours, and fellow Canadians, especially those who are self-isolated or vulnerable are in need of our support,” said Jalil Marhnouj, president of Assunnah Muslims Association (AMA).
“As our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us, ‘the best amongst us are the most beneficial to people.’ When those around us are struggling in one form or the other, we have come together to create a program that supports people in their day-to-day lives by providing supplies and mental health support.”
Services being provided include grocery pick-up assistance for those unable to leave their residences, pharmacy pick-up assistance, and phone and web counselling sessions conducted by registered counsellors from the Muslim Family Services of Ottawa (MFSO).
Over 200 volunteers across Ottawa-Gatineau have joined the cause and are working extremely hard on a daily basis to deliver groceries, packages, and medicine to the community. To date, we have prepared 550 hygiene kits, 250 food kits, and have fulfilled over 250 requests in the past week with more requests coming in rapidly.
“In times of crisis and as so many people are going through the anxiety and all the uncertainty that comes with COVID-19, I think the UMO-OG Relief Effort is not only important but crucial,” said Malika Nouh, one of the program’s coordinators.
“We need to come together and be there for each other. There’s a saying that the Muslim community is like one body—if one part of the body hurts, the whole body has a fever. It's our duty to help one another and empathize. I am happy to have the opportunity to help those in need, regardless of faith, background, or affiliation,” Nouh added.
We are committed to helping anyone who comes to us for assistance whether they are able to pay or not. We offer help free-of-charge to ANYONE that meets our eligibility criteria.
In order to make our services accessible and in hopes of eliminating as many barriers as possible, we offer assistance in:
If you are someone who is in need of help, please call us at 613-686-3922 or fill out our form online here.
If you would like to volunteer, sign up online here.
Anyone who wishes to contribute can donate via PayPal at bit.ly/covid-donations
*Donations are tax-deductible and go directly towards COVID-19 Relief efforts*