Grand Opening of Helping Hand's New Corona Office
By Fatima Farooki
Public Relations Coordinator, Helping Hand for Relief and Development

Pictures by Anwar Khawaja

The grand opening of our New Corona Office and welcoming Shop N' Help which supports the Skills Development Program, was a huge success. The event was attended by over 100 people, including community members and leaders from all over Southern California, on Saturday, September 28.

Shop N' Help is part of our Helping Hand Office in Corona, California. We are selling the handmade merchandise designed by artisans of Pakistan and produced by students of the Skills Development Centers (SDCs). The Skills Development Program is designed for the socio-economic development of people, especially women from vulnerable and disaster-hit communities. The program embodies guidelines to achieve the eradication of poverty among the most neglected segment of society by providing them employable skills, facilitation for home-based, income-generating activities and developing market linkages. The vision of "One Home One Skill" of the program is to sustain the livelihood of every household. HHRD has established community-based SDCs for imparting training in different employable skills in the vulnerable communities of Pakistan, Africa and Jordan.

The event program started with a recitation from the Holy Qur'an by Naveed Burni. The MC was Naadir Soofi who made the proceedings move smoothly in his charismatic style.

Two poems were wonderfully recited by Hamza Yammout, a Spoken Word Artist from the Muslim Students Association West.

Everyone was very happy to listen to the speech by the CEO and President of Helping Hand, Br. Farrukh Raza who flew in from our New Jersey Office.

We were also honored with the presence of our Corona Mayor Pro Tem, Karen Spiegel who also gave a few words of encouragement for the new office and the Shop N' Help and the great cause of empowering women. She said that she was very impressed by Helping Hand's Skills Development Program in Pakistan, Africa and Jordan and aimed at helping women and men in remote areas who would not have the opportunity otherwise to gain important skills in order to become self-sufficient.

Then came a detailed and excellent presentation of the Skills Development Program with a Q & A session by Br. Ishrat Rahman, Helping Hand's Regional Coordinator.

He was followed by Malek Bendelhoum, a youth leader, who gave a speech on the importance of the Helping Hand Center from the youth perspective.

Finally, Shaykh Said Seddouk - Religious Director of ICSGV (Walnut Masjid), delivered his closing speech highlighting Allah's (SWT) blessing upon those who aid those in need through Helping Hand's programs and relief efforts globally. He also gave the closing dua / prayer of the event.

Even though you may have missed our event, please come to visit this new Corona Office with the Shop N' Help at 211 Dupont St., #107, Corona, CA 92879 | 951-737-4473.

You can drop your InKind Gift Donations being collected for the Pakistan earthquake victims and Syrian refugees and buy wonderful gifts from the Shop N' Help such as children's clothes, women's and men's shalwar/kamiz, baby garments, gift items such as jewelry, mobile pouches, key chains, decorative items such as embroidered and crocheted purses, bags, caps, tea cozy, vests, jackets, scarves, stoles, shawls, bed linens, bed spreads, pillows, cushions, table runner, wall hangings, floor mats/rugs, Jisti kurtas, and many more.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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