Women empowering women.
It is perhaps among the best scenarios one can witness in this evolving world where women empowerment also strives to flourish. It comes in different forms too, just like how the ‘Hijab for a Cause’ does it.
What started as a random social media post by Nushaiva Basri, Hijab for a Cause founder and EAI Up2Youth Tech Camp alumna from Isabela City, Basilan, has become a movement that she never thought would grow and gather more women who believe in her mission, “Let your crown be the crown of your sister in faith.”
For women practicing Islam, a hijab is not only a religious and cultural symbol. More than that, it is a sign of empowerment and modesty. “Just as how one woman has the right to show her body, she has also the right to cover it”, described a Muslim woman in an article published by The Beacon in 2017.
“It was in May, this year, that I posted an Instagram story. I wanted to help a friend, a Balik Islam (reverted to Islam) from Cotabato City, by responding to her needs such as hijab, abaya or dress and prayer mat. My junior high school teacher saw my story and asked if she could also help”, shared Nush recalling how the journey for Hijab for a Cause started.
It was right at that moment that Nush thought of making it into a full-fledged project. They can help not only one Islam sister but many more others. She followed it with another Facebook post where she received many positive responses from friends and acquaintances. The Hijab for a Cause was created ‘to help reverted sisters in providing them with their basic Islamic clothing and materials, making their transition to their new religion and doing their Islamic deeds become easier’. Together with friends and colleagues, they officially launched the project on June 1, 2020.
Nush believes that the Hijab for a Cause sends a message of empowerment through liberation- that this simple head covering is not about wearing it but acknowledging what they are as a committed Muslim woman. It also gives them a sense of connection between her Muslim sisters.
“I preferred Hijab for a Cause not only as my personal advocacy work. For it to reach more, I need other people to join and support the cause. I wanted other sisters to join, and so I approached my friends and relatives and from then on, good things happened,” Nush added.
At present, Hijab for a Cause’s donation drop-off points have reached as far as in Luzon areas, in Pasig City, Manila, Makati City and in Dagupan City. In Mindanao, they have their drop-off points in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga City and Cagayan de Oro City.
Since Hijab for a Cause started, it has supported almost 100 individuals across Mindanao. Not only it is helping reverted Islam sisters but also those who are in need. Just recently, they turned over hijabs, abayas and dresses to fire victims in Basilan and cancer patients in Zamboanga City General Hospital.
“Right now, I have with me eight active movers of the Hijab for a Cause and also volunteers from Luzon and other regions in Mindanao. I’d like to invite more women like me from other areas to adopt this project. We want more individuals to become part of this group where we are not only bound by our faith but also being able to support each other,” said Nush.
Aside from expanding it to other areas, the group is also planning to launch ‘Reverted Sister Diaries’ where they can continuously engage their newly-found sisters in faith even though online, for now.
The women in the group believe that their mission entails the goodness in Islam by defining the act of charity, and it is their responsibility to help their fellow sisters.
Though one may call a hijab as a simple head covering, women in Islam see it as their crowning glory.
For those who want to connect with Hijab for a Cause, visit their page here: https://www.facebook.com/Hijabforacauseph/