Zafar Ahmad (16) from Southfields was today presented with a ‘Flood Hero’ award by ITV Daybreak. Along with four other Flood Heroes, Zafar received the award live on the Day Break show and a £5,000 prize to go towards his chosen charity by Sir Richard Branson. Zafar has now been invited with the other award winners to a reception at 10 Downing Street.

During the half term holidays in February, Zafar made the most of his free time and volunteered with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s (AMYA) flood relief campaign, and joined hundreds of volunteers who were assisting families affected by the floods around the country, including Staines, Chertsey, and Somerset areas. Zafar spent almost every day helping however he could, whether filling and delivering sandbags, or helping with the massive clean-up operation of the St. Paul’s Church in Staines.

Jamal Akbar, one of the AMYA Regional coordinators for Charity, Community and Welfare Programmes, was so moved by Zafar’s selflessness that he put his name forward. He commented,

“In my mind, everyone who helped out with the flood relief efforts is a flood hero, whether they are from our own community, the local residents, the Army or the local Sikh community who helped in Staines. The reason I nominated Zafar was because of his selfless dedication of time and his passion to just get out there and help in whatever capacity he could. I don’t know many 16 year olds who would do that during their holidays. I’m very proud that he got through as there were over 120 nominations across the country.”

 

Zafar added,

“It was a humbling experience to see those who are affected, but I am glad that the communities quickly came together to help. I don’t consider what I did to be special, but simply fulfilment of my religious duty as a British Muslim to serve my country. Nevertheless, I greatly appreciate this award, ITV for highlighting the floods and the kindness of Sir Richard Branson. I hope those people affected can get back to their normal life soon. We all have a duty to help them.”

 

Zafar’s volunteering efforts do not stop here as he is already looking forward to raise more money for this cause to assist with the massive clean-up required up and down the country. He is participating in this year’s AMYA 10K walk on 4th May 2014 in Battersea Park. Please support his noble cause here. He is also asking people to participate in the run to help any of the 20 beneficiary charities. The list of the charities can be found here

AMYA is the youth auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose founder Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Peace be upon him) claimed to be the expected Promised Messiah and guided his followers to recognise the service of mankind as a religious duty when he stated “My desire, my wish and my objective is serving humanity. It is my job, my faith, my inspiration and my way.”