LONDON: A 10-year-old boy from northeast London in the UK is raising money for charity by cooking while fasting during Ramadan.
Zaavier Khan is hoping to pay for food parcels worth £5,000 ($6,940) through donations as he whips up a range of tasty dishes.
“There are a lot of people that don’t have the opportunities like us. They don’t have enough money and enough food, and some don’t have a house, so I’m experiencing my first Ramadan fasting with a desire to make a difference to those in need the most,” Zaavier Khan told Arab News.
“Once I found out that there were about 8 million people in the UK with no food, I wanted to raise money to feed them.”
The young fundraiser is raising money for Human Appeal’s UK food parcels, which last year distributed more than 4,500 parcels to people in need.
Being the only British Muslim in his class, “he is the only one fasting so, he is having to show a lot of patience,” his mother told Arab News.
His classmates are familiar with Islam and its holidays, as they are taught about it in religious studies in the UK, but Tahreem Khan said that it is the first time they have been exposed to the experience of one of their peers fasting during lessons.
“This is a first time exposure experience, not just for Zaavier, but also the students in his class toward Islam and a British Muslim child, who is actually adhering to his practices,” she said.
Bringing his passion for food, Zaavier has completed several cooking sessions so far and has prepared creative dishes, including watermelon quinoa salad, Nutella french toast, pizza, chicken shish taouk avocado salad and papri chaat — an Indian/Pakistani street food. And for dessert, he has made date and vanilla milkshakes and halwa.
Zaavier has been invited to cook alongside chefs at two restaurants in east London and has also cooked in the homes of family and friends.
“There are so many people that are interested and keen to have him in their kitchens,” his mother said, adding that COVID-19 restrictions are making Zaavier’s plans difficult to execute.
Dubbed the “Ramadan Kid,” Zaavier said he wanted to show that “Ramadan is all about giving back to your community, and I wanted to give back to the community near me.”
Some of his friends at school have donated, and his mother said she received a phone call from his head teacher “praising Zaavier and saying that he’s become one of those kids in this school who is a big inspiration to the other children and a really good role model, in terms of his humanitarian work.”
Zaavier has raised more than £1,700 of his £5,000 target. His mother said that he plans to “go bigger” next year and “hopefully grow into a young man who does a lot for humanity.”