Abla Kadous - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
35 years of service
Islamic Women's Welfare Association (IWWA)
Incredible. Inspiring. Humble.
Seventy-year-old Abla Tohamy Kadous has overcome financial restraints and other challenges to create the Islamic Women's Welfare Association (IWWA).
She leads 50 other volunteers and staff and is active in the activities of the thriving organisation she founded 17 years ago.
“IWWA has over 1500 members from 56 nationalities and their welfare has always been my focus,” says Abla, who started volunteering 35 years ago.
The association helps Islamic women feel welcome and participate in their communities. It offers anti-discrimination forums, school-readiness programs, youth camps, cooking classes and events for elderly people.
Abla has also bridged the gap with other religions and organised inter-faith forums in Western Sydney.
One of her most impressive achievements was raising money to buy a state-of-the-art function centre after years of sewing, cooking and sourcing things to sell.
One of the association’s most important projects is the provision of food and other essentials to people in need, and people queue at the centre for parcels.
“I have seen the need for food packages grow exponentially,” Abla says.
Last year, Abla was named NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year. In 2017 she received the Muslim Lifetime Achievement Award for over 25 years of service to the Muslim Community.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. The association will hire a van for the food service and erect a shelter for people in the queue.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here