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Eid Smiles 2017 launched at House of Lords

Emdad Rahman

THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH of Eid Smiles 2017, hosted by Lord Sheikh, has taken place at the House of Lords, London.

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In May 2016 Faruk Miah MBE and friends, including Emrul Islam BEM of Newark Youth London, started a small campaign called #EidSmiles2016. They were inspired by the words of Mother Teresa and the work of renowned Bangladeshi photographer GMB Akash and his friends, who worked to bring some happiness and love to the lives of the forgotten people in society. This year Newark are raising money for members of the local community to gain life skills for a successful future.

The concept of #EidSmiles2016 was very simple – raise small donations from family and friends to buy Eid gifts for the most vulnerable and needy in society. Newark made a small pledge to put a smile on the faces of at least 100 random strangers as a random act of kindness. The response from family and friends was overwhelming and in a short span of just two weeks the team raised enough money to buy 500 gifts.

Given the short time span and logistics, the team primarily concentrated efforts on giving new saris to elderly women in rural villages of Sylhet and new clothes to street children in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Following on from the efforts in 2016, the team are back in 2017 with #JustSmiles the new project that aims to support the vulnerable and needy both overseas and here in the UK through two separate campaigns: #EidSmiles2017 and #XmasSmiles2017. One of the fundamental aims of the project is to get more people to think about others less fortunate than ourselves.

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Speakers at this year’s launch included Faruk Miah MBE, Emrul Islam BEM, Shale Ahmed and Sufe Miah.  The event was attended by supporters and well-wishers from across the country.

“A powerful quote by Mother Teresa is the inspiration behind EidSmiles and our simple desire to make a small difference to the lives of individuals who are less fortunate than ourselves,” said Faruk Miah MBE, the founder of JustSmiles (the organisation behind the #EidSmiles2017 campaign).

Moved by the “EidRespect” blog written by renowned Bangladeshi photographer GMB Akash, along with his friends Afzala and Hanif, Faruk came up with his very own campaign to help the poor and vulnerable through #EidSmiles2016. The idea was very simple: raise small amounts of money from close family and friends and use the funds to put a smile on the faces of the poor and helpless.

Working in partnership with the charity Newark Youth London, #EidSmiles2017 aims to work closely with young people to teach them the values of charitable giving.  The campaign will run until 9th June 2017.

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