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Spotlight on Moawia Bin-Sufyan
VOLUNTEERING IN THE COMMUNITY
In this article, the dedication of one member of the Pakistani diaspora, Moawia Bin Sufyan has been highlighted, the benefits, and how you can get involved.
Moawia has been volunteering since the age of 15. Today, he is involved in public bodies & charities such as the UN, LEA Governor for two schools, sitting on the Magistrate and Crown Courts Bench as a (JP) Magistrate, and active with charities like the Order of St John (St John Ambulance). He also founded the Upper-Hand Charity, which provides free health and education services in South Asia.
Volunteering has many definitions, but it is where an individual provides a service or their time for a specific cause that benefits the community. It can take many forms and roles, where either it can be as simple as providing a listening ear or focus on more complex issues such as prisoner rehabilitation.
His volunteering activities have given him the chance to speak out about issues relating to criminal justice, policing & diversity. He is the Founder and Chair of the Council on Welsh-Islamic Relations, improving community cohesion, and represents the Vale of Glamorgan as a Tourism Ambassador.
The efforts of Moawia have not gone unnoticed. He has been awarded the Queens Award for Charity, the British Citizen Award for Services to the Community and Education (BCA), HM Queen Elizabeth II sanctioned his admission into the Order of St. John as a (MStJ) Member, the Prime Minister’s personal Points of Light Award. He has been a finalist for the Positive Role Model Award for Age at the National Diversity Awards (shortlisted from over 22,000 nominations) and is currently the finalist at the Muslim News Awards.
Here at UPSIGN, Moawia has been kind enough to share his story and how you can get involved. Read on to find out more…
Interview with Moawia Bin-Sufyan (UPSIGN member)
1. How did you get into volunteering? What was your starting point?
I have been surrounded by volunteering or assisting people in need as both my grandfather and father had public appointment roles in Pakistan & Wales. It has been embedded into me from a young age to help, support others or make a positive difference where possible as well as forming a part of my identity.
2. Why do you volunteer?
As my day job and background is in investments, it can be pretty mundane. I volunteer for several different reasons, not only does it give me a break from my day job but provides countless other opportunities. It allows me to give back to society, support others in need as well as gaining insight into other people’s lives and different sectors of society. Dependent on the roles, I can be making a difference locally/nationally, or internationally.
3. How does volunteering benefit you as an individual and/or the community?
Volunteering has many benefits not only on an individual level but also the community.
On an individual level, the benefits include, gaining news kills, developing networks, meeting new people, and engaging with people at all levels.
On a community level, getting more people engaged, increasing awareness and how they can use their voice/experience knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on issues which they are affected by.
A key point to note is that voluntary, charity, and public appointees have an impact on every area of society. In today’s diverse, multicultural, and global society, it has become increasingly important to get people into voluntary appointments who are representative of all sectors. This will improve the quality and make our public services more accessible taking into account the needs of all members of society.
Not only that, diverse leaders are strong role models. Having a diverse nonexecutive or public appointed team can signal a commitment to creating a more inclusive environment and help break down unconscious biases.
4. What advice would you give to somebody who has never volunteered but is interested?
First, begin searching for volunteering opportunities locally. Do your research to see how your skills, knowledge, and experience can be applied to voluntary roles. Use this as an opportunity to develop yourself, gain new skills/training and build your resilience.
5. You have been recognized and are very active in your work, what do you aim to achieve or would like to achieve?
I would like to always be remembered by my children and family in a positive light. As well as having a positive impact on society and make a difference to the next generation.
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