Nairobi Masaajid Joint programme (NMJP) was founded in September
2003 as a response to the many challenges facing the Muslim
Ummah and especially in redressing the lacunae created by
un-coordinated response to issues and programmes.
In particular, it was felt that there were serious administrative
lapses in the management of Iftar programme during the month
of Ramadhan and the distribution of relief supplies in the
drought stricken areas.
desire of the initiative was to earn the pleasure of Allah
while responding effectively to the needs and aspirations
of the Muslim Ummah.
In synergy, the various masaajid and Madaaris agreed to define,
streamline, coordinate and supplement the Iftaar, Zakat, etc,
in order to achieve maximum coverage and utilization of funds
and other materials collected, purchased and or donated for
the benefit, utility and development of the Muslim Ummah.
need for consolidation of the ummah into a formidable unit
through a common approach to issues, opportunities and challenges
was underscored as a central plank of the NMJP mandate. In
short the joint effort was aimed at the realization of objectives
as set out here under.
following objectives were set out at inception;
avoid duplication of efforts in the distribution of food
and other items
increase coverage and distributions so as to reach as wide
a population and geographical areas as possible
implore individuals and institutions to come together for
bulk and centralized purchasing, leading to better prices
and hence improving both quantity and quality
create a welfare programme for and disadvantaged and less
privileged members of the community especially in areas
of medication, education, enterprise, etc
source for funds for the institutions listed above so as
to sustain their activities as well as improve and upgrade
bulk buying for relief and Iftaar programmes so as to cut
on costs as well as enhanced coordination and transportation
other Masaajid and Institutions to join in the programme
for increased efficiency and dialogue on future plans for
expansion and development
To assess and address the needs of Muslims in Kenyan remands
a humble beginning of a couple of institutions at inception,
the Nairobi Joint Masaajid has grown to become an authority
on relief and Iftaar programmes. The founding members of the
organization amongst others include the following;
Railways landhies Mosque
Pangani Masjid and CCPC
Masjid Nur South C
Bilal Masjid, South C
Al-Furqan Training Institute
Girls training Institute Pangani
Anjuman Himayat Islam
Al-Muntada Al-Islami Trust
into Ummah Foundation
the last few years, NMJP has been operating under an informal
structure to go about meeting their objectives. Alhamdulillah,
we are now assuming a formal structure registered under the
name UMMAH FOUNDATION. We are also widening our objectives
to benefit a wider section of the Ummah.
the objectives range from enhancing unity to empowering the
Ummah in all aspects; in education, health, social welfare
and economic development.
number of programmes are being run under the newly established
UMMAH FOUNDATION. These programs range from issuance of relief
food and wheel chairs, youth activities, women programs and
Imam’s activities among others.
latest project of the Foundation is an initiative to pool
Zakat contributions into one basket for eventual distribution
to those prescribed by the Shariah. All these are in the spirit
of alleviating poverty and suffering amongst the Ummah.
Other objectives of the Foundation as spelt out in the trust
deed include but are not limited to the following;
To further education and to establish, construct and maintain
institutions of higher learning.
To alleviate hardships of the needy, orphans and poor by
providing comprehensive preventive medical care
To provide relief and succour to those affected by natural
calamities, victims of social unrest and other accidental
happenings by providing food, medical aid, help in legal
proceedings and claims.
To propagate religious tolerance, teachings and understanding
and respect of all religions and faiths and in particular
Islam. Other objectives are auxiliary to the above.
policy formulation organ of the organization is the steering
committee comprising representatives from member organizations
and institutions. The steering committee has been meeting
after every two weeks but has since been reduced into monthly
secretariat for the implementation of programmes and activities
has been established and is operational. The organization
runs a number of programmes but for purposes of this paper,
the following suffice.
Food Distribution: This programme undertakes food distribution
to famine, drought and disaster hit areas especially in
the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. Last year
and the better parts of this year have witnessed serious
relief work in various parts of Eastern and North-Eastern
Kenya. Discussions on long term measures aimed at generating
alternative livelihoods for the affected areas are ongoing.
Indeed a model village concept is being tested and if
successful will constitute a major plank of the foundations
programmatic engagement. In the meantime, continuous support
in the manner and style of relief food supplies is inescapable
if lives are to be saved and the affected people brought
back to their original positions. An intervention framework
is being designed for easier coordination and operations
Iftar Support Programme: It is an established tradition
of the organization to provide Iftar rations to the less
privileged members of the community. In the just concluded
Holy month of Ramadhan, our organization was able to provide
Iftar food to a sizeable segment of the community. Suffice
it to mention that the overriding objective of the foundation
is to empower community members economically so as to
be able to fend for themselves during this blessed period
of Ramadhan. Plans are on course to factor in an economic
package for the less privileged members of the community
within the framework of the proposed Central Zakat Fund.
The overriding intention is to discourage begging and
promote production and sharing.
Imams Empowerment Programme: The organization appreciates
the central role of Imams in the community and has initiated
a programme that is specifically tailored at enhancing
the capacity of Imams. Training workshops have been held
in the past as well as induction courses. Consequently,
imams have been accorded the requisite authority and are
critical players in the foundations ongoing Zakat programme.
A lot of support is therefore required if the dream of
building the capacity of imams is to succeed. In future,
periodic capacity building workshops on thematic issues
are proposed especially on various contemporary issues
Media Engagement Programme: The media continues to play
an important role in setting the socio-economic and political
agenda of the society. As a result a framework is being
generated around media engagement. It is therefore proposed
that workshops will be organized for and with media practitioners
with the objective of mainstreaming media in the community.
Halaal Certification Programme: Over and above regular
programmes, the organization has been instrumental in
starting off Halaal Certification Programme by proving
the requisite secretariat support. Halaal meetings have
been convened and records serviced and maintained at the
instance of Ummah Foundation. Currently, plans are underway
to open up independent offices for the initiative and
suffice it to mention that ongoing operations are coordinated
and facilitated from Ummah Foundation offices.
Central Zakat Fund: Currently Ummah Foundation is collecting
Zakat and a central depository is open to all Muslims.
The bulk of funds collected are aimed at improving the
education standards of the Ummah by supporting bright
students who are unable to proceed with their education
as a result of financial incapacity. The Zakat funds are
to be administered in accordance with the dictates of
Sharia. Widows, orphans and poor members of the community
are also poised to benefit from the programme through
proactive empowerments initiatives.
Youth Programme: Youth Programme works to empower youth
to participate actively in the shaping of the Muslim youth
and societies in which they live and in improving the
living conditions of the youth as a Muslim in today’
worlds. The activities under this programme include the
following:-sector-wide activity, small scale funding,
youth education support;
Sector wide activity
Foundation organizes seminars, training and workshop for youth
groups in various areas as:-
team building and group achievement
- fundraising and financial management
- lobbying and advocacy
- networking and partnership
- conflict resolution
Small scale funding
foundation is sourcing for funds to fund 5 youth groups for
sustainability of group’s projects and also inculcating
the idea of entrepreneurship in Muslim youths.
groups presented their income generating activity (IGA) proposals
as well as the following; feasibility survey, business plan
and repayment programme. It is projected that Ummah Foundation
will be able to source for funds and eventually enter into
financial agreement by Inshaallah, January 2007. Proper Monitoring
and Evaluation is already in place.
Youth Education Support
Programme: Ummah Foundation will allocate 60% of its central
Zakat collection to education
especially offering bursary to youth students who are bright
and needy. Education is continuously assuming focus and
priority over other programmatic areas because it is increasingly
becoming apparent that education plays pivotal roles in
modern society. Not only does education define and determine
the pace and direction of development and societal progress,
education dictates access to gainful opportunities, defines
environment and generally the standard of life. In essence,
education is life.
9. Community Outreach Programme: It is estimated that 1
in every 10 in Kenya and most of African countries have
disability. The stigma of disability has been very destructive
in the past.
- locked up by the parents
- mistreated because of stigma
is for this reason that Ummah Foundation supports people with
disability from poor families to have access to wheel chairs,
prosthetic limbs and sewing machines, regardless of their
gender, race and religion.
Prisoners Rehabilitation Programme (Affiliate): The programme
aims at rehabilitating prisoners through Islamic da’wa
- Islamic books , literature & lectures
- Food stuff and beddings
- Islamic wear (khamis)
- Water tanks for ablution and prayer mats
- Medical camps
Currently the programme has designed Islamic course for
prisoners, identified teachers who will teach the course
and lead Friday prayers in the prison and also in preparation
to construct a prayer shade for Muslims prisoners both at
Maximum and Medium Kamiti prison. Other activities in the
- Organize Qurbani at Kamiti prison and also facilitate
idd-ul- adhaha congregational prayer for Muslim prisoners
in December 2006.
- Medical Camp and Legal Clinic for Muslim prisoners in
The programme is currently serving Muslims inmates in 20
prisons in Kenya
11. Women’s Programme: Ummah Foundation Women’s
Programme aims at empowering Muslim sisters on varied issues.
Discourses and workshops on thematic issues are held periodically
and support programmes are currently ongoing particularly
on women prison visits and hospital visits. Plans are in
the pipeline to generate economic empowerment initiatives
aimed at giving capacity to the economically weak.
the organization is still at formative and elementary stages,
it is becoming apparent that a lot of expectations are being
generated. As a result, the needs obtaining currently by far
outweigh our capacity.
Education, Unity and Development are currently assuming prominence
in terms of programmatic engagements. It is therefore imperative
that like minded institutions and individuals are mobilized
ostensibly for partnership and networking around issues of
mutual interest and benefits.
Plaza Block A, Apartment A2, Ngara
P.O. Box 58717-00200, City Square
E-mail: [email protected]