Osman Karolia is synonymous with community and education and has had a profound impact on our youth over several decades. He has been involved in everything good in all segments of the community – both locally and globally and is THE ROLE MODEL for an upstanding Australian Muslim citizen.

We are glad to be supporting him as he presses the pedal to the metal, cycling 600 kilometres across Sydney during Ramadan raising funding for some awesome causes. We interviewed him to understand what are his motivations and the causes he is supporting.

Tell us a little about yourself and why you do what you do?

My name is Osman Karolia, I’m currently the Head of Community Engagement at Unity Grammar  and will shortly commence as Principal at Arkana College. Community is my passion particularly leadership, volunteering and social justice. I’m married with four children, three grandchildren and enjoy travel, good food, cycling, running and researching Islamic history. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in many self-funded humanitarian volunteer trips around the world and volunteer locally. I am driven by legacy and to making an impact on the lives of others so that they may have a life of comfort, dignity and have opportunities to thrive in their own communities.

Challenge events such as running or cycling are a new way to fundraise that attracts community attention and hopefully also inspire others to lead healthier, more wholesome lifestyles.

I’m grateful to have shared my keen interest in volunteering, fundraising and social justice with my students including taking them to Cambodia to build infrastructure and distribute aid as well as manage projects locally to feed the homeless, engage with young people living with a disability and supporting the elderly. These experiences build character and give students an education through experience that they simply cannot get in a classroom, lecture or online event.

What is the cause you are raising funding for today?

This Ramadan I’m cycling 600km whilst fasting to support the following AusRelief emergency relief initiatives.

  • Mission for Vision – Fund surgery to restore sight to the blind in the developing world
  • Gaza Medical Supplies – Provide urgent medical aid to hospitals and clinics in Gaza
  • Education Program – Support girls’ education in Nigeria
  • Microbusiness for Rohingya Refugee – support widows from the violence in Burma to be self-sufficient with starting a sewing business.
  • Sponsor an Iftar – provide iftar dinners to entire communities
  • Food Parcels – for those affected by conflict and economic collapse in Yemen, Syria & Lebanon
  • Waterwells – Provide access to clean water in the developing world
  • Flood Relief – Assistance to fellow Australians impacted by the recent floods in QLD and NSW.

By sponsorship all funds are 100% for humanitarian causes and not to sponsor me personally.

Why does raising funds for this matter to you and the organisation you are supporting?

We believe that we have a fundamental and essential duty to serve every person who is in need regardless of who they are by providing assistance to people at times of despair in any part of the world, especially who are the victims of war, natural disaster, catastrophe, hunger, disease, poverty, orphans by supplying them with food, shelter, medical aid and other fundamental needs.

How will the funds you raise measurably impact lives? And how many lives?

It will provide quantifiable medical equipment and aid as well as provide education to girls in Nigeria, sight to the blind and feed families and communities. This can be measured in numbers but more significant is the impact over time on communities who will get fresh water and widows who will become self sufficient rather than relying on aid. The impact will be in the thousands. The unseen impact is the hope, love and comfort that is generated when those who are destitute see the support from their brothers and sisters in faith and humanity. No words can adequately describe the look on a mothers face knowing her child will be fed, educated and cared for with the aid you delivered.

What’s distinct about the organisation’s work?

It is a volunteer-based organisation that is effective because they are independent and are not bogged down by a top heavy bureaucracy so that aid is given for the intended recipient and not excessive admin costs. Their programs also focus on development using intelligent short and long term self-sustainability solutions. 

Why should we support this cause as opposed to all the other important causes that the world is suffering from now?

This cause involves innovative, healthy approaches to fundraising for causes that have a plan for long term sustainable development rather than short term band aid solutions.

 

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Ethical Finance and Innovation

Dr. Sayd Farook is the Executive Director of Crescent Foundation. He is Group Chief Operating Officer of Crescent Wealth and Managing Director of Crescent Finance. He previously served as Advisor to the Executive Office of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In this capacity, he envisioned and executed strategic / transformation initiatives for Dubai and the UAE. Prior to that, he was the Global Head Islamic Capital Markets at Thomson Reuters, where he advised and served large corporates, multilaterals and governments in the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia.

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