By partnering with a local charity, the Dawoodi Bohras of Sydney have found a way to feed local families in need while ensuring that they generate no food waste during Ramadan.
Throughout the year and particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, food is an integral part of the culture of the Dawoodi Bohras. It is a time for socialising, making new friends, and strengthening existing bonds. But it also gives us pause for thought – about those that don’t have enough to eat, and about the vast amount of waste that can entail from food production and consumption.
Every Dawoodi Bohra community around the world appoints a Dana (or “Grain”) Committee, staffed by volunteers who organise meals, and find ways to manage cleanliness and waste in and around community centres, particularly during Ramadan, when Bohras gather in great numbers throughout the holy month for prayer and the breaking of the daily fast.
Last Ramadan, the Dawoodi Bohra community of Sydney faced the challenge of excess food from community meals, and it was becoming a pressing issue for the Dana Committee. So this year its members contacted Mrs Durga Owen for help. Mrs Durga is the coordinator of the Community Care refugee programme in Seven Hills, and has partnered with the Bohras in the past on food drives in Western Sydney.
Together, the Dawoodi Bohras of Sydney and the Community Care refugee programme distribute between 15 to 18 boxes of food regularly throughout the year to families in need in different suburbs of Western Sydney. This initiative enables the Dawoodi Bohras to meet their goal of zero food waste during Ramadan, while serving food to families in need.
Mrs. Durga Owen, Coordinator, Community Care Refugee Program, Seven Hills, said, “The members of the Dawoodi Bohra community in Auburn have been generous during Ramadan by donating cooked meals to those marginalised in our community for several years. These home delivered dinners by volunteers are helping refugees who have no government support or employment and are struggling for the basics. We thank you for your continued generosity to those who are most in need.”
For Dawoodi Bohras, moderation is the key to good health and sustainability. But there is always more we can do to help reduce food waste. Striving for zero food waste is a priority of the worldwide leader of the Dawoodi Bohras, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, and Project Rise, the community’s global initiative to support vulnerable people and protect the environment.