In recognition of her exceptional contribution to fostering, Afia Choudhury has been awarded The Fostering Network’s President’s Award 2018. Choudhury humbly collected her award on October the 30th, at the Fostering Excellence Awards ceremony in London, Imlfeed reported.
Over the last 15 years, Choudhury provided shelter to almost 30 children in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Upon receiving the award, Afia stated that she is “absolutely delighted, and deeply honored to be receiving this prestigious award from The Fostering Network. I would like to thank Tower Hamlets who listened, guided and supported me over the years, and gave me the opportunity to support some of the wonderful children I have been lucky to look after, and for nominating me.”
A Selfless Journey of Dedication
The Muslim mother, along with her husband and their four sons, is currently sheltering three children at their home for the last seven years. Afia is a mentor supporting new foster carers and even when their mentoring relationship finishes, she carries on supporting when the need arises.
She arranges days out for children and foster families to theme parks, the seaside, sporting event and the pantomime. She is also an ambassador for Tower Hamlets and regularly supports the department in their recruitment strategies.
“I would love for others, who are perhaps thinking about becoming foster carers, to please come forward,” she said. “Fostering has been a life-transforming experience, which I would not change for anything.”
“I came into fostering because I felt I had the time, I had the energy, I had the love and motivation to look after children. I think children need a home where they can feel safe, they can feel loved, they can be a part of a family,” Choudhury said.
There are over 65,000 children in the UK, who live with almost 55,000 foster families each day. Islam encourages fostering orphan kids, and providing both physical and spiritual care for them. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,“The best house of Muslims is one where an orphan is cared for.”
The Muslim mother has been hailed by British officials as a role model. “Afia is a fantastic role model in both of these areas,” Libby Thornhill, President of The Fostering Network, said. “Her passion for foster care shines through and this, alongside her clear commitment to the children in her care, means I am absolutely delighted that she is receiving this President’s Award.”
Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs also hailed contributions of the Muslim mother in fostering children, saying that “Afia is an absolute inspiration to everyone at Tower Hamlets. She has offered a loving home to almost 30 foster children over the years and we cannot underestimate just what a difference that has made to their lives and in making our borough a better place.”
Afia continued saying that she is “thrilled that she has won this award. We are so lucky to have people like Afia and her husband Kamruz in Tower Hamlets. I hope their story will encourage others to become foster carers. We have many children who need a foster home and the difference one person can make is profound.”
This article was originally published on aboutislam.net