China Muslim

Community Involvment

A Half million dollar Project Islamic Learning center right in a remote village Yangzai, Guizhou province

The People’s Republic of China is the world’s most populous nation with a country of over 1.35 billion people. Since its economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It often is regarded as an Asian powerhouse. While its rapid economic expansion has helped large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Chonqing, there are still many rural areas that lack the basic necessities such as proper sanitation, healthcare, education and welfare.

Yang Tzai Village in Guizhou Province one of the poorest in the whole of China , consists of approximately 400 people and is about an hour and a half away from the town of Zhaotong. The journey to the village is rough and bumpy as the government has not stepped in for the development and building of proper roads leading to such villages, rampant in other parts of China.

In 2010, Sister Mariah Mah was brought to see this very poor remote village in Yangzai, Guizhou province. Houses are made of mud walls , without proper sanitation or toilet facilities There are about 80 families comprising 400 residents and all depend on farming for their livelihood. Farmers’ average annual income: 10,000 RMB or $2000 Spore dollars .

Al FaLah Pre school and Masjid

Little Stone Village is located in NiuPeng District, Guizhou Province.

It has 250 Muslim households with more than 1000 population.The whole district of NiuPeng has about 30,000 Muslims. It has a small old masjid built 15 years ago of mud walls and its ceiling is spalling and walls cracking . It could accomodate at most a maximum of 100 jema,a. There was thus a need to build a new masjid beside the old one.

The Village also has no preschool and kids are left running and playing around till they reach school age of 7 years to enter Primary One.

The first Classroom block was completed in 2015, we have SMU, NTU and NUS teams who came to do community service and help paint the Façade the classrooms and the school feature wall!! THANKS TO RAMATANAL ALAMIN who have helped to fund each of these undergrad groups!!!

Second classroom Block at Al Falah Preschool near completion for Undergrads to come and carry out community service. There will be 2 classrooms on the first floor abt 50 sq meters in size and two another 2 multi function rooms on the second floor.

Al Falah masjid Completed but still need a surrounding wall to prevent Non Muslim intruders from coming in to abuse masjid facilities and also cows from coming in to graze grsss.

The New Preschool Cum Masjid

There are 60 primary school pupils who have to walk about 3km to school daily while 20 secondary school children stay in school’s dormitory as the school is about 6km away and they go home during weekends. As for preschool children aged 3-6 there are more than 80 of them who have no preschool to attend and they play and fritter their time away!!!

Sis Mah saw the urgent need to build a preschool to cater to the kids education and to ground them in basic Islamic knowledge, learning of Iqra , simple doas and juz amma! Even primary school kids were ignorant of Islamic knowledge and practices. No kids seem to be praying at all!

Alhamdulillah a group of SMU(Spore management university) students approached Sis Mah to do a community service project in China. They successfully managed to asked Ramatan Lil Alamin to donate $80,000 towards the school project. A generous Muslim donated $60,000 to build the masjid.

All the villagers contributed a piece of the hilly undulating land which took several months to level and it became the site of the Islamic center. Donors were approached to help build the classroom block, a dormitory, central kitchen, imam's living quarters, a masjid, wudu place and toilets .

In 2011 funds raised could only build a 2 storey school building, and the imam’s quarters. When the school opened in 2012 the imam took in 15 teenaged boys to learn under him and turned 2 classroom into dormitories while 30 kids occupy one classroom and teachers made one classroom into their dormitory!!

Things turned for the better when we managed to employ a Principal and an accountant who actively promoted the preschool in Yangzai and in surrounding villages. A third storey was added to provide more classrooms.

When the new term opened in September 2013 there were 96 pupils and 4 teaching staff . Fees were waived for one semester to attract more pupil enrolment and generous Muslims donate fisabilillah to this amal jariah project.

This first batch of students were all raring to learn.We could not take in all the village kids. Only those who were 6years old ready to proceed to Primary one the following year were given priority. Funds were sought to add another storey to make a third floor as there was hardly any space!! In the next semester enrolment increased to 135 kids then in September 2014 –187 kids, Sept 2015 286 kids and February 2016--- 367 kids and 20 staff. Al Fatah has gradually become renowned in the village for its effective learning program cum Islamic knowledge. It took us 4 years 2010--2014 to raise $600,000 in all to complete the project furnished it and equipped it with soft ware and classroom facilities ! Alhamdilillah and a BIG THANK U TO ALL OUR DONORS!!! MAY ALLAH REWARD THEM IN ABUNDANCE HERE AND IN THE HEREAFTER!!!

PRESENT CRISIS 2016

In January we were notified by the Ministry of Education that we have to close down the Preschool as the premise sits on the same waqaf land as the masjid.They do not want kids to be affected by any Islamic influence . In China only those above 18 years old are allowed to pray in the masjid!!

We were told that after Chinese New Year 2016 we were not allowed to operate as the school will be declared illegal. Fortunately we were offered a piece of land near the school which the Ministry will sell to us .

WE sought reprieve for 5months April-September 2016 to build the new preschool which we target to accommodate 500 pupils as in February more parents from surrounding villages , not only Yangzai, came to register their children but we are desperately short of space !

We even have to convert the kids playroom cum dining into a huge crammed space for kids afternoon nap!! Some classrooms are crammed with 50 kids!!

With the building of the New Fatah Preschool , the present Al Fatah will be turned into a dormitory hostel to house orphans , single parent kids and also to provide accommodation for kids from far off villages who have to walk 7 km to their primary school every morning. Right now we have 30 such kids in our al Fatah preschool premise.

Preschool and Masjid shares the same ground--- not allowed by Govt new ruling!!!

Al Fatah Learning Center for Muslims in Yangzai

The Learning Centre would also be used as a weekend madrasah for the villagers where adults and school-going children will be able to gain religious education from the teachers provided by the organization.

SMU students ,followed by NTU n NUS students who came to help in the Yangzai project , hope to make a lasting direct impact on the lives of the villagers. Firstly by providing the kindergarten-aged students the means to an education

Secondly, providing an attractive and fresh façade for the kindergarten would have a positive impact on brightening the children’s learning environment. Initially the kindergarten exterior walls are white and bare. Painting the exterior walls with bright colours would certainly give the building a kindergarten look.

All classrooms and murals are the hard work of our undergrads!!!

Children rarely gets to meat it except during qurban time WE encourage our Muslims to Aqiqah /Qurban/Sedaqah in Yangzai village as meat is a very expensive item !

Reflections

Proposal

Lightwave were formed by 20 students (18 were from Nanyang Technological University (undergraduates) and 2 were Mukminin Youths from Al-Mukminin Mosque) with a vision to love, inspire, give, hope together as a team.

Collaborating with Xiji Welfare Charity Centre, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Lightwave extended some help to a small rural community in Yunnan. Specifically, they went to a village called Long Wan Bian where the families there live in poverty with lack of facilities to equip the younger generation with proper education. As such, the goal of Lightwave was to improve the condition of a kindergarden over there.

The kindergarden consists of about 25 children aged 4 to 7 with only two teaching staff and a small building where lessons are being conducted. The education centre is not equipped with much furniture and requires a lot of refurbishment. Therefore, Lightwave went over to carry out basic refurbishment for them such as painting the classrooms and the outer part of the building itself in order to make the small education centre comfortable and conducive for the children over there.

At the same time, they also taught the children on the basic skills and daily necessities such as simple art and hygiene. They also shared with staff on the teaching methodology and give advise on possible lesson that the teachers can conduct in the future. In addition, they also help to raise funds in order to make the building of a proper piping system possible so that the villagers will be able to get a clean supply of water as well as for solar panels installation in order to provide warm water for the villagers during winter. They also brought over donated items for them which they have collected through cavassing before they went over. The following are the pictures that was taken at yunnan.

Reflections

Proposal

Youth Expedition Project (YEP) has been a key programme to encourage volunteerism among our youth since its inception in 2000. YEP supports youth to embark on community Service-Learning projects with the objectives of building up self-confident youth volunteers who can identify needs and contribute to the community both at home and abroad.

This expedition encourages NUSMS, NTUMS and various inter-religious groups to foster deeper relationship among them. This serves as an excellent learning platform to promote inter-religious understanding and mutual respect. Kindness, respect, love are just few of the universal attributes that goes beyond race and religion, that speak beyond borders.

A collaboration between a charity organization, ZJC Charity Service Centre and a strong team of 19 members comprising of students from NUS and NTU with various disciplines embark on an experiential learning journey to touch the lives of children in one of the poorest regions in China. ZJC Charity Service Centre, the first Muslim NGO in Zhang Jia Chuan Muslim Autonomous County, Gansu, manages education and social welfare projects.

Their main area of interest, Lan Jia Chun Village, is a remote village in Shangri-la located at the foot of Haba Mountain. Lijiang airport, about 5-hours drive away, is the nearest domestic airport whereas Kunming Airport is the nearest international airport. Lan Jia Chun has a population of 200 with farmers making up the majority whose modest efforts aim at meeting the basic necessities of the villagers there.

Their goals is to share practices of good personal hygiene habits with the people, impact basic english language knowledge, to make the classroom a better learning place as well as assisting locals in the re-designing of their garden which includes landscaping and concreting.

The following are the pictures that was taken at Lan Jia Chun.

Reflections

About Mariah Mah

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Get in touch

If you would like to join a tour, donate to our charity or for any inquiries, please contact Sister Mariah Mah at +65-96567315, or through email at [email protected]