THE YUSUF ISLAM FOUNDATION is a pioneering charity registered in England and Wales and works in the fields of lifelong education, community development and philanthropy.

Its work is guided by the in-trinsic altruistic values of Islam and the belief that knowledge and mutual respect lead to a healthier and more prosperous society. Its approach is defined by its goal of fostering these core principles and of effecting genuine and sustainable social progress. The Foundation embraces innovation, diversity and a collaborative approach and seeks to identify local and international issues to which it can make a meaningful, positive and lasting difference.


THE YUSUF ISLAM FOUNDATION was founded in 2009 and functions as an umbrella organisation following the amalgamation of the Islamia Schools Trust and the Waqf al Birr Educational Trust; two highly successful charitable organisations established by Yusuf Islam in 1982 and 1992 respectively.

Photo: Yusuf / Cat Stevens

The Foundation has a long and distinguished track history as an effectual and exemplar charity. It has been actively involved in mainstream and independent education for upwards of three decades con-tributing to government White Papers and advising on policy related to the needs of the Muslim com-munity. It has been involved in a variety of community development projects as well as humanitarian and philanthropic endeavours on a national and international scale. Through its founder, it has also been involved in a huge variety of interfaith and global peace initiatives.

During the early eighties, it established the first full-time Muslim primary school in England which went on to become the first Muslim school in the UK to be awarded state funding. In 2003, Islamia Primary School celebrated its 20th anniversary. Currently, it has 390 pupils on roll and has received government funding to expand to 2-form entry. In 1989 and 1996 respectively, the Foundation estab-lished its two highly successful secondary schools - Islamia Girls School and Brondesbury College for Boys. Both schools are currently ranked among the best independent schools in England and con-sistently top borough examination league tables. Today, our alumni consists of doctors, lawyers, den-tists, architects, bankers, artists and many other distinguished professions.

In 2000, the Foundation founded Small Kindness, a humanitarian relief charity that helps orphans, widows, the elderly, needy families and the disabled in over a half dozen countries around the world. Helping orphans is at the heart of what small Kindness does; it seeks to provide support and assis-tance to children throughout their childhood, school years and into employment.

In 2012, the Foundation opened the Maqam Centre; a community based project that seeks to build bridges between groups and faiths by promoting enhanced understandings of cultural and faith issues. it achieves this through a celebration of our shared values, and by demonstrating how diverse com-munities and people may integrate and collaborate harmoniously. The centre also represents a fresh model for contemporary education, health, and spirituality.



One of the Foundation’s core objectives is to provide educational opportunities to promising students from less privileged backgrounds. In an ever changing world and with the ever increasing costs of education, we hope to assist capable and hardworking students in achieving their ambitions and be-coming highly skilled and invaluable members of society.

The Foundation aims to build on its existing scholarship programme by continuing to encourage and support students from all walks of life. From the traditional to the innovative - in the long term the Foundation hopes to fund university scholarships that will encourage students to contribute to their communities and help create a successful ethics-based economy and a society underpinned by mutual respect and understanding.

The Foundation continues to explore various options for working more closely with other national and international educational organisations as a way of exporting our school model and enabling oth-ers to benefit from our 30 years of skills and experience.

Photo: Islamia Girls School Chemistry Laboratory

Photo: Muslim schools community development meeting


The Foundation recognises the necessity of not only providing assistance to the needy in other parts of the world, but also of helping those on our own doorstep. As a London based charity, and in ac-cordance with islamic obligations to look after ones neighbours, the Foundation seeks to increasingly invest in local and national projects. We aim to channel our energies into programmes to assist the elderly, children and our neighbours.

In co-operation with other charitable organisations, we hope to deliver wide ranging community-focused activities centred on peace, mutual understanding, social interaction, health and well-being and the arts. Through recognition of the universal values that we all hold dear, we aim to challenge common misconceptions and contribute to a community that is built on security, positivity and unity.


The Foundation aims to promote philanthropy in education and humanitarian causes.

We have experienced the rewards of seeing children develop and flourish during their formative years and beyond. as such we seek to encourage others, including our alumni, to give back to society in a constructive and organised manner. One of our long term goals is, through Corporate social responsi-bility, to support successful individuals in setting up scholar- ships and other educational initiatives.

Photo: Solar-Well in Tharparkar Sindh, Pakistan