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Building a “Masjid Indonesia” in Uganda, donating to Palestine

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Ivan Gunawan, Indonesian fashion designer

Jakarta, IO – Indonesian fashion designer Ivan Gunawan built a mosque in the Butanjwa Hoima District of West Uganda, Africa, to alleviate the clean water crisis in the area. 

When talking to reporters on Monday (Jun 3) at the Indonesian Amil Zakat National Agency (BAZNAS) headquarters in Jakarta, Ivan confirmed the mosque he built for Ugandan Muslims is named “Masjid Indonesia”. 

Ivan hopes the mosque can help the Ugandans access clean water for their daily needs. “When I saw the people in Uganda praying under tree branches, and the children not being able to find clean water easily, It made me think about how to build a mosque and a well there,” said Ivan, as quoted by Antara. 

Located around four hours from the capital of Uganda, Kampala, the mosque finally stands proud and tall in January. Ivan explained that although Uganda has several mosques, Masjid Indonesia is the only mosque painted in white. 

Ivan has a conviction that small things done together will have a significant impact. Therefore, Ivan and his brand, Mandjha Hijab, are determined to help overcome the problems in Uganda to the best of their abilities. 

Not only Uganda: Ivan is also committed to helping the people of Palestine. He donates proceeds from the sales of his exclusively designed hijabs (Muslim women’s head coverings) with the pattern of the Palestinian flag to the Palestinian people who have been victims of Israeli atrocities. 

The inspiration for the hijab came from the “keffiyeh”, a checkered headdress synonymous with the struggle of the Palestinians. “Then, I adorned it with flower ornaments that were the same colors as the Palestinian flag. There it is, a hijab,” said Ivan. 

Ivan’s philanthropy also includes donating profits from Mandjha Hijab to renovate schools and build a Quran memorization center in Sawangan, Depok, an institution which now enrolls around 80 students. 

“I want the students at the Quran memorization center to excel. Now, we have 80 students. I send them to schools based on their skills, starting with religious education and English,” explained Ivan. 

Ivan’s benevolence does not stop there. He is also known for giving children with disabilities, such as Windi Setyoningsih, an illustrator with intellectual disability, the opportunity to draw Ivan’s fashion items. 

Read: “Indonesia Has A Strong Commitment To Collaborate With African Countries”

BAZNAS recognized Ivan Gunawan’s dedication to humanity and decided to present him a special award, which was bestowed by BAZNAS Chairman Prof. Dr. KH Noor Achmad, MA, on Monday (Jun 3) at the BAZNAS headquarters in Matraman, Jakarta. 

“Ivan Gunawan has been extraordinary in his contribution to humanity, which corresponds with what BAZNAS is fighting for. We hope that BAZNAS can collaborate with Ivan Gunawan and his team, including for healing the wounds of the Palestinians,” said Noor. 

Noor believes that the collaboration between BAZNAS and Ivan Gunawan can be a force and a boost to alleviate humanitarian issues nationally and globally. 

“We deeply commend his achievements, and therefore we present this special award to Ivan Gunawan,” said Noor. (*/rp)

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