Charity

Charity was something which was very important for Castro’s grandmother Hajji Amni Abu El Heja. It was mostly about direct economic support for people she met and who lived around her and you can say that the whole thing was fairly unorganised.

Amni clearly expressed that after her death some of her assets should continue to go to the poor and needy but no guidelines were set up for how this was to be administrated. Subhyia, Castro’s mother, has followed through on Amni’s wishes by being responsible for the administration of the funds which Amni left behind. Castro himself has also worked to fulfil this wish since for the past few years he has been more active in working with the family’s operations. Today the foundation is organised through the Prince of Thieves Foundation and this channels the family’s charity funding and is founded on the memory of Grandmother Amni.

The primary aim of charity for the family is to build bridges between different cultures and religions, in Palestine and Africa first and foremost. Education and democracy are other central parts of the family’s vision of a better world. Castro especially is convinced that it is through the media of education that we can primarily create understanding for each other’s culture, religion and viewpoint; for the creation of a better, more tranquil world. In June of 2009 the President of the US, Barack Obama, stated in a speech in Cairo that it is time for a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim world. Castro believes that this is hugely positive.

Working with charity is difficult in today’s society. Lots of people want a piece of the cake when there is money on the go. That’s why the family work with organisations that share their outlook and goal of a better future. Organisations which it is deemed put in good work and significant effort and are hence candidates for the contribution from the Prince of Thieves Foundation e.g. unicef, Save the Children, the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, the Lions Club, SOS Children’s Villages, Läkarmissionen (the Medical Mission), Hoppets stjärna (the Stars of Hope), Childhood, the Coexist Foundation and The Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

The following are examples of contribution and commitment which the family has performed/performs in order to better the situation of the poor and needy:

  • For almost 10 years Subhyia ran an orphanage where children with adjustment problems, or children of drug addicts, could be educated and cared for during the daytime.
  • 20 children have received a student grant to cover their educational costs from preschool to university. Today 8 of these study at University.
  • Castro’s father has been engaged in charity by setting aside time in schools, solving conflicts between students and creating a safer school environment. He has also set much time aside for, and contributed financially to, the football team of his home town.
  • Subhyia is engaged in the hometown’s club for the elderly, which organises daily activities and trips.
  • 8 needy families receive the equivalent of a monthly salary each.