The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD) is a faith-based, community service organization, working within a multi-faith frame, focused on the following areas hunger relief and food security, health education, transitional needs of new immigrants.
Mission: Community services that empowers
Founded in 1997, the organization initially began by opening and operating a food pantry at the Mount Hope Mosque, in the southwest Bronx, distributing halal food to a needy population of immigrants, primarily West Africans, most of whom are Muslims. Interactions with the pantryís clientele, who were primarily women, led to an awareness on the part of the pantryís founder of their transitional needs, and this understanding was the catalyst for the development and establishment of services to low-income families, Muslims and others in the Bronx. Currently MWIRD operates a food pantry in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, at 2044 Benedict Avenue, in partnership with the African Islamic Center and a second, since 2009, in Highbridge, at 1272 Ogden Avenue, in partnership with The Highbridge Community Church. Current projects include: Public Benefits Pre-screening and Outreach, Financial Literacy, Immigrant Womenís Health, HIV/AIDS Education and Referral Services, English for Speakers of Other Languages and Youth Service Learning - working with new immigrant youth.
The Institute works collaboratively with borough, city, and state agencies, as well as nonprofit and grassroots organizations. As a result of these efforts, MWIRD is a resource for Bronx Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, seeking assistance in various areas of life. We offer referrals to literacy programs, intervene in housing-related issues, engage parents with the public schools, help clients understand immigration and medical documents, and assists in other areas on a case-by-case basis.
MWIRD is currently a member of: The PetroBronx Collective, the NYC-DOHMH Office of Minority Health: Bronx Multi-faith Advisory Group, the Muslim Consultative Network, the Consultation for Interfaith Education, the Food Bank of NYC, and serves on a number of committies working to address human and communtity development in the Bronx, where we work to develop tools and methods for educating the community and promoting harmonious coexisting. The Institute has been part of several interfaith networks, institutions, and projects and has participated in a number of forums with the objective of educating others about Islam, Muslim women, and the Muslim community, as well as advocating for the needs of the organizationís Muslim constituency.