Christmas Joy

Muslim and Christian youngsters worked side by side on Saturday, December 15, to pack and distribute hampers for Vinnies, the St Vincent de Paul Society.

It is the fourth year that The Ismaili Muslim Youth volunteers have supported those in need at Christmas by collecting toys and donating food for the hampers. This year they were joined by the youth group from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish after contacting the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations

Youth and Networking co-ordinator from the Columban Centre, Ryan Epondulan said: “We are really excited to be working together on this project with Muslim youth and taking the time to build bridges for a great cause”.

After weeks of collecting gifts from their communities, about 35 members of the two youth groups gathered for a Christmas lunch and a gift-wrapping, card-making session in which they shared different traditions and festivities based around Christmas and other celebrations.

They filled around 40 hampers with gifts of new toys and food items.

Sahera Sumar, Member for Communication and Community relations, Aga Khan Shia Ismaili Muslim Council said: “Whilst the hamper drive is an annual activity within the Ismaili Community, this is the first time for the youth-driven collaboration and we are very excited to build on this relationship.

“Next year we would love to involve other youth groups.

For more information about the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations visit www.columban.org.au