BIRR is a guild that advances a way of living based upon a unitarian epistemology and narrative. BIRR's charitable mission includes a sustainable benevolent practice that tackles the structural disadvantage of families and individuals who are members of its community. The name of the guild is based on the Arabic word birr, which promotes the binding of collaborative effort upon righteousness and virtue.


2005-08

In September 2005, Dr Mustapha Kara-Ali, a theologian and community organiser, was invited to join the Australian Prime Minister's community reference group to advise the federal government on community issues. As part of engaging the federal government with the community, Dr Kara-Ali founded BIRR as a charitable initiative that focussed on the issue of disadvantaged youth living in Western Sydney.

Early in 2006, the BIRR team put forward a proposal to the federal government for a partnership project between the Commonwealth and the community that tackled the structural disadvantage of youth in relation to the issue of radicalisation. In June 2006, the initiative was agreed to by the federal government and a Commonwealth-Community Partnership Project, Building Identity and Resisting Radicalisation (BIRR) Project, was established with Dr Mustapha Kara-Ali as the specified project manager.

Between 2006 and 2008, the BIRR researchers and volunteers managed the partnership project and authored a youth mentoring guidebook that was made available in the community and also through the National Library of Australia. This guidebook has since been updated from its 2010 version by new research.


2009-10

In 2009, the BIRR Mentoring Program began operating as a charitable initiative in Western Sydney. It established a practical development framework for confronting the disadvantage of families and individuals.

In order to further support this work, the BIRR team led a pioneering human development project that built on the strength of people-to-people relations between Australians and their counterparts in the Arab world. It was named the Safeguarding Australian Links with Arab Moderates (SALAM) Project (2009-2010), and it was supported by the Council for Australia-Arab Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


2011-17

In 2013, the BIRR team underwent a change of attitude after a series of hampered attempts to forge a sustainable model for tackling structural disadvantage. The new approach incorporated a community scheme into a charitable model. It was framed within the 3 i’s inform-inspire-integrate, as it aimed to inform and inspire individuals through a charitable mission that incorporated them into a newly emerging spiritual community.

Since early 2016, BIRR has been joined by a number of spiritually motivated individuals who have taken a volunteer oath to use their resources and knowledge to build a sustainable community that overcomes structural disadvantage by way of living a spiritual life of virtue and piety to God.

 
 
 
 
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