Mabruk & Shanah Tovah!


This year both the Islamic and Jewish new year begin on the very same day!

For Muslims, the most common greeting is Mabruk [congratulations], followed by a short all encompassing prayer,

‘Kullu ‘Aam was Sa’aada tarafiqakum, kullu ‘Aam wa Antum bikhair.’

[May the new year bring you happiness and may you be in the best of health]

Much the same, the Jewish greeting is both a greeting and too a prayer,

‘Shanah Tovah.’

[[Have] a good year]

Encompass extends a very warm Happy New Year to all celebrating and wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and peaceful new year. Enjoy!


Encompass hits the heights!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Encompass’s role is to challenge those who come on our programmes.  Last week, however, it was our supporters and alumni that we challenged – to climb Snowdon to raise money for the charity.   They rose to the challenge (and to the top of the mountain). At 1,085 metres, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and quite a trek, and none of our fundraisers had ever been to the top before – apart from Laurie and Lyn, but that doesn’t count because they previously got there on the train!  Our climbers comprised ex-participants and those who knew young people who had benefited from our work, together with some long-time supporters and donors.

Haleema, who was a participant on the Journey of Understanding in 2013, says,

It was 7 years since I last climbed a mountain and I was worried I would struggle so, like any good lass, I started training a month prior to it. Of course this isn’t great when you live in a very flat ground area, so you can imagine my awe when I finally arrived at the foothills and thought ‘my word’ and ‘how exactly am I going to get up this?!’ But somehow I managed it and I think that’s a real testament to the amazing individuals I was trekking with.  Encompass has a way of bringing out kindness and generosity in people, in spirit and friendship and a real sense of comradery. I always found that whoever I was with would slow down for me, or wait and just continue to speak to me when I was struggling and I know that’s why I managed to reach the top. So thank you everyone  🙂

All our team made it to the top and felt justifiably pleased with their efforts, although some did say they felt a little inadequate alongside walkers for another charity who had carried a 200 kilo metal dinosaur to the summit!  It was a great day and we are already starting to think about the next challenge.

Our fundraisers have raised £2474 so far.  If, like us, you think it was pretty amazing achievement and want to add to their fundraising efforts, here are some of their Just Giving pages:



Whirlwind summer 2016!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This summer we ran our very first “Whirlwind” programme; a summer residential to challenge, empower and connect 12-14 year olds from Harrow and Brent.  The programme combined adventure activities, sports, arts and crafts and team games with thought-provoking and engaging workshops.

We cannot wait for more Whirlwind programmes across the school holidays. Take a look at some of the cool stuff we did!

A big thanks to Aik Saath, Salmon and John Lyon’s Charity for their support in making this happen.

Last call to climb the Mighty Mount Snowdon for Encompass!


17th-18th September 2016!!!

Conquer Mount Snowdon and raise money to help Encompass promote dialogue and understanding between divided communities.

Travel with us to the heart of Snowdonia, North Wales, where you will be rewarded for your efforts with stunning, rugged scenery and breath-taking views from the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085m.

The minibus will depart from Harrow on Saturday 17th September at 3pm.  We will arrive at our accommodation in the evening and share a hearty hot meal, before ensuring that everyone is kitted out with what they need for an early start the next day. After a cooked breakfast, we will set off from the centre at 9am, eating our packed lunches on the way up.  The walk will take roughly 5-7 hours, and we will celebrate with another hot meal before piling into the minibus for the return journey to London, arriving into Harrow between 10-11.30pm on Sunday night.

Registration fee: £85

Minimum fundraising: £200

The registration fee includes:

  • Transport to and from London (Harrow) in a private minibus
  • Accommodation at Plas Gwynant in Snowdonia on Saturday 17th September
  • A hot meal upon arrival at Plas Gwynant on Saturday evening, a cooked breakfast, packed lunch and hot dinner on Sunday
  • An experienced guide to take you up and down the mountain safely
  • Equipment such as walking boots, waterproofs and a rucksack, although we highly recommend bringing your own as it will be more comfortable.


Get in touch with Sahdia:

And if you can’t climb, but wish to be a part of this fundraising effort donate towards Sophia’s fundraising target via her justgiving page here.

Thoughts for Nice

DoveEncompass would like to extend its heartfelt sympathy to all the survivors and families and friends of those killed in the many terror attacks around the world over the past few months. Each death and maiming weighs equally upon us. Once again we find ourselves mourning, this time for the people of Nice, a city very close to the hearts of the Braden family.

Contemplating Change

blog AdiI came back to Israel with a deep urge “to do something”. What? I didn’t know. The phrase “to do something” does a lot of justice to how I felt then and even to how I am feeling now: the reality is complex, our reality is so complex – so what can I do? How do you start dealing with different wrongs and impatience?

In the past, part of my answer was escape, or escapism. It’s easy to become apathetic and try to live my life the best way I can. I have nothing to do with those sad stories around us.

So I started teaching Hebrew asylum seekers from Eritrea, in order to ease their difficulties and to fulfill my need to do something and spread good around me. With that saying, I keep thinking that “Be the change you want to see in the world” is not enough anymore. We can’t settle just to this and we need actively support good initiatives and ideas.

I really like teaching Hebrew and to make connections between communities better – and I keep looking for my chance and opportunity to do something bigger.

Adi, Israel, JoU February 14

On the passing of a lifelong Humanitarian

EdhiThis weekend saw the passing away of an incredible philanthropist and lover of humanity, Abdul Sattar Edhi founder of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan. Read here about the very ordinary and humble life of this extraordinary man.

Rest in peace Mr Edhi and may there rise many more Edhi’s across the world.


I am racist

I am racist. I have been racist since the moment my soul was born into a white body in the United States of America.

I am racist but I am not bigoted. My brand of racism is not overt.

I don’t tweet racist things, I don’t use racial slurs, I do my best to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve as human beings.

My brand of racism was thrust upon me and is often invisible. It has trained me to fear the presence certain bodies and attempted to minimize my remorse when those bodies are unjustly slain.

My brand of racism was informed by a rosy and false version of our country’s history of race relations.

‘Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. MLK Jr. had a dream of racial unity. We should all be “colorblind” and love each other.’

Yet reality is not at all colorblind.

A young white man who raped an unconscious girl behind a dumpster gets a short jail sentence on the basis that he made a lapse of judgment. A black man selling CDs illegally to support his family had had no chance at justice and was instead publicly executed.

My brand of racism is fueled by a stream of media that discusses the tragic end of the white man’s swimming career and digs up reasons to vilify the man of color.
We all deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but we MUST be aware of the hurdles that prevent certain people from attaining them and find ways to even the playing field.

To my white friends, family, neighbors: I call upon you to please look to acknowledge the biases that affect your opinions and think about where they came from and figure out how to erase them. The media you consume and company you keep play a huge part in this. This cleansing will take time and commitment and you will mess up along the way, but it’s absolutely necessary to make our country a safe place for everyone that calls it home. America’s culture of racism is so entrenched and subversive that those living today may never be able to fully scrub them out of their subconscious but we MUST try.

To my friends, family, and neighbors of color: my heart aches for you. I will never know the extent of the pain you experience on a daily basis, but let me be a friend and ally to you in whatever way I can. You do not deserve to feel unsafe in your own neighborhoods, homes, or now, cars. My Muslim brothers and sisters: you do not deserve to be asked to justify the terrorism by deranged few that claim to act in your name, yet wreak destruction on your own holy sites during one of your most sacred times of celebration. My Latinx brothers and sisters: your contributions to this country don’t deserve to be washed away by threats of a wall or deportation.

If you take issue with or feel uncomfortable by what I’m saying, don’t block me. Don’t dismiss this plea as “white guilt” or “liberal agenda” and respond with politicized buzzwords. Instead, reach out to me and let’s have a meaningful conversation. Don’t expect people of color to owe you the same time and energy, as their time is being spent on far more taxing things.

If only it were so simple to tell you all to stay safe and have it become reality. Instead, I wish you the strength to keep fighting.

Derek, USA, JoU February 2014

“Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion”


Like the rest of the UK, we are in shock and devastated by the horrific murder of MP Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed to death while serving her constituency.  Jo stood for the values we hold dear – equality, unity, diversity and cohesion.

In her maiden speech at Parliament, she said, “Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”

Writing for the Guardian, Polly Toynbee says, “This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve, to dehumanise those with whom we do not readily identify.”

Jo’s husband Brendan Cox said in a moving statement that “Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.  She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.”

Encompass shares each of these sentiments.  We will continue to fight against hatred, continue to bring together people to talk about their differences as well as discovering all that they have in common, and work together to make positive change.  Our thoughts are with all victims of senseless violence.

We are One

Human 1.jpgEncompass would like to extend its deepest condolences to all the families of the victims of the devastating attack at Pulse Nightclub,  a gay club in Orlando on Sunday morning. This was not just an attack on the lives of the 50 lost and the countless left critically ill, but more pertinently, it was an abhorrent attack on the civil liberties of American society and anyone in the world who values their civil and indeed human liberties.

Over the past few days we have witnessed one of the greatest and most richly diverse funeral services the world has ever seen. People of all faiths, no faith and from all walks of life stood on a shared podium to celebrate the life of  Muhammad Ali; sportsman, philanthropist, civil rights activist and just an extraordinary American. It is therefore even more upsetting that America be rocked with such a great tragedy a mere 48 hours after such a show of togetherness and unity.

We stand with Orlando and with every other civil liberty being attacked the world over. Goodness and humanity will rise above this senseless and mindless hate and barbarity wherever it may be. We have seen this as a direct result of the attack as tens of hundreds of ordinary Americans waited for hours in the heat to donate blood in order to save the lives of their neighbours, friends and even strangers in the wake of the tragedy. Where there is humanity, there will always be hope.

We are Orlando.

We are humanity.

We are One.