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“Frontline” counselling

Cambridge MBA alumna Zohra Khaku (MBA 2008) featured in BBC article on coronavirus fight.

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Cambridge MBA alumna Zohra Khaku (MBA 2008), who runs the Muslim Youth Helpline in the UK, was featured in a lengthy British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) article on people on the “frontline” of the fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

Photo of Zohra Khaku.
Zohra Khaku

“Rather than working on a ward, or delivering food, she and her staff are on the end of a phone line” to offer counselling for young Muslims in the UK, says the article.  

The article coincided with a report by Public Health England showing a disproportionate effect the pandemic has had on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, including a higher likelihood of becoming critically ill or dying. 

Zohra said in the article that the helpline had had a more than 300 per cent increase in contacts from distressed teens and young adults since the pandemic appeared in the UK, as more young people have become isolated or are struggling with bereavement issues involving family members. 

“We’ve been going for 19 years, but we’ve never been as busy as this,” she says in the article. “We usually get one call about suicide every two weeks, but we get them every night now. We had one day last week where half of our enquiries were about suicide.”