One of the tenets of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is a commitment to promoting love and compassion for all human beings.
The association, which boasts a 40-strong chapter in Newmarket, is an auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at, a dynamic and fast-growing international revival movement within Islam that advocates for universal human rights. Members range from 16 to 40 years of age, with those younger (seven to 15 years of age) covered by the Newmarket Ahmadiyya Muslim Children's Association.
In Newmarket, their charitable and advocacy efforts have seen members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association organize fundraising events, food and blood drives, charity runs and more. By running structured programs that focus on academics, sports, social welfare and charity, youth are provided with beneficial work that keeps them “busy and engaged”.
“Our key objective is to serve and contribute to society at all levels, and to active integration and engagement,” said Salman Ahmad, vice-president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, Newmarket chapter. “We are passionate about serving the community, as this is what our faith teaches us to do.”
The group has organized a wide variety of community initiatives over the past several years.
Their ongoing blood drive, March to Save Lives, has seen 10 blood donations this year. Mayor John Taylor, one of their team members, has donated blood through the program.
“The main purpose was to recruit new blood donors and recruit new team members and encourage them to donate blood,” said Ahmad.
A food drive in December 2021, part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s national Million Pounds of Food campaign, saw them donate 1,500 pounds of food to the Newmarket Food Pantry. A similar food drive by the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Children's Association in the new year raised an additional 60 lbs of food from the children’s own pocket money, in support of the Aurora Food Pantry.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s Lunch on Wheels campaign in December saw them donate 30 boxes of warm lunch to York Housing and Support Services. That same month, they also donated holiday gifts to Newmarket Health Centre.
Next on the Newmarket chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s plate is their upcoming Run for Newmarket, the first of what will become an annual community event that supports local charities and non-profit organizations. Though this will be the first local run, the national Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association has been organizing charity runs for almost two decades.
This year’s Run for Newmarket will be held in-person at Fairy Lake Oct. 2, with all funds raised donated directly to the Newmarket Food Pantry and Blue Door. The group invites runners of all experience to attend, and will be offering 10k, 5k, and 1k options.
“We plan to continue our initiatives in Newmarket and surrounding areas to give back to the community and engage the youth,” said Ahmad.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, Newmarket chapter welcomes members from Newmarket, Aurora and East Gwillimbury. Those interested in getting involved with the group can email Ahmad at [email protected].
“Our volunteer efforts are for everyone,” said Ahmad.