Young Citizen: Ilford pupil who helped raise £14k for school in Pakistan nominated for award

Zaina Zamurrud, 12, is this month’s nominee for the Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards.

Zaina Zamurrud, 12, is this month’s nominee for the Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards. - Credit: Jevon Harding

An Ilford schoolgirl has been nominated for an award for her part in raising more than £14,000 to build a school in Pakistan. 

Zaina Zamurrud, 12, is this month’s nominee for the Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards. 

The Beal High School pupil helped her family raise the money for charity Muslim Hands, which is building the school in the Kashmir region. 

Mother Sahira Zamurrud said: “Zaina is really good at her written work, her literacy is really good. 

“So what Zaina was doing was writing messages encouraging family and friends to donate – little bits of background information, what the community in Kashmir is like. 

“It was a case of going online, reading about the area, the region, learning what the family lifestyles are like in those areas, and giving that information to encourage people to donate.” 

When lockdown forced schools to close last year, the Zamurrud family realised “how fortunate they are to have an educational system”, Sahira explained. 

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“Those are the conversations that we were having as a family at the time and this is where this idea was born,” she said. 

The family set out to raise £7,000, but exceeded their target, allowing them to fund additional facilities such as a library and computer rooms. 

“It has been an effort that would never have been possible without family, friends and the community,” she noted. 

In addition to her fundraising for international causes, Zaina has also been involved in supporting Redbridge Foodbank.  

Sahira said Zaina’s nomination for the Young Citizen Award was “heart-warming”: “She is full of enthusiasm, always ready to go onto the next thing that involves making a difference.” 

The Young Citizen Award celebrates the great things being achieved by young people of Redbridge aged 25 and under. 

Each month’s nominee will be invited to the Mayor’s Community Awards night in March, where an overall winner will be announced. 

The overall winner will receive £100 from Redbridge Rotary Club and will, along with the runner-up, go through to the national Young Citizen final run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. 

To nominate someone, contact sophie.cox@archant.co.uk at the Recorder or visit https://www.redbridgerotaryclub.org/contact giving information about the nomination and contact details.