– Toqueer Ahmed Quyyam
OUTREACH CAMPAIGNER, BIRMINGHAM FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
One of the wonders of the natural world for me is that it has always inspired me to believe in a better world, whether it’s beautiful high mountains to tall trees in local parks, to the beautiful wildlife of every kind. So I was really looking forward to working with Friends of the Earth.
My first day there was very exciting; it felt like destiny, I felt at home and to my surprise finding I was in the newsletter last year with the plastic campaign, felt like my whole life has brought me to this defining moment! What can an ordinary person like me do I thought, maybe I can inspire others to believe in a better world where we can all co-exist in peace with the natural world and all its creatures.
As a young boy growing up, I always had a good imagination, I could imagine a world where the air was clean, people were happier, safer and healthier and compassionate to the natural world, it felt like heaven. Althought I was always told that heaven was a faraway place, maybe we can create own little heaven starting in Birmingham, I thought.
My enthusiasm and love for the cause, was, I think, the reason that so many places local to our office regained an interest in what we are doing. Before I knew it, it felt like most of Digbeth as well many other Birmingham groups knew about us!
Many people were recognising me in the City having seen my picture on one of our leaflets. I felt I could do more, so encouraged people to attend our meetings and some did!
As my confidence grew, I spoke to the Central Mosque and Green lane Mosque and we were able to have a stall there, supported by volunteers we were also able to raise funds for our campaigns and create awareness.
My message to the people of Birmingham is let’s invest in our future, believe in yourself and make now the time to take collective ownership, that we the people can and will change our destiny forever and save our planet, it’s the only one we have.