More than 30 volunteers from Richmond’s Ismaili Muslim community celebrated Global Ismaili CIVIC Day by cleaning up Minoru Park on Saturday.
Ismaili CIVIC is a Canadian Ismaili Muslim initiative dedicated to community service and was formed in B.C. about 15 years ago.
On Saturday, the Province of British Columbia proclaimed Sept. 26 as Global Ismaili CIVIC Day and Richmond was one of the first cities in B.C. to dedicate activities for the day.
This past weekend’s clean-up initiative is part of a global initiative with a target of 20,000 volunteers across the world, including Richmond, pledging over 100,000 hours of service to their communities to “improve the quality of life” and to “play an integral role in the communities” that they live in, according to Shelina Dilgir, communications volunteer for Ismaili CIVIC.
Dilgir added that the weekend’s event focused on the themes of environmental stewardship and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sophie Shivji, B.C. project manager for Ismaili CIVIC, said the turnout for the event was amazing and the organization is feeling excited with the recognition from the province.
“It's exciting. The acknowledgement from the province of B.C. that is ... and because we’re growing and the initiative is growing,” said Shivji, adding that she hopes to see the initiative grow within other countries.
“In our Ismaili community, it has been ingrained in our beliefs to give back to the community. Ismaili CIVIC has certain ethics and core values of peace and compassion and … showing these qualities to others is important.”
In attendance at the event were Samir Manji, president of the Ismaili Council for British Columbia, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Teresa Wat, MLA for Richmond Centre.