Nonprofit headquarter in Inkster is teaching people skills to break the cycle of poverty

Zaman International earned more than $300K from fundraiser

The attention from the national spotlight garnered rapid success for the organization as their dreams came to fruition.

INKSTER, Mich. – Zaman International, an Inkster nonprofit, is receiving national exposure thanks to a new ad campaign.

The nonprofit was formed in 2004 and works to help households meet their basic needs and break the cycle of poverty, according to its website. They empower households with training and vocational programs.

Zaman International has a workforce development kitchen that it uses to sell cookies online. It also has an industrial sewing school and a culinary school. All located inside a single Inkster warehouse.

Founder and CEO Najah Bazzy was named a top 10 CNN Hero in 2019. That year, Subaru held a “Share the Love” campaign and pledged to match the first $50,000 donated to each Hero through their CNN Heroes GoFundMe Campaign.

In just 16 hours, Zaman reached the cap and earned more than $300,000 for women and children living in poverty.

“The CNN campaign altogether were able to raise over $300 thousand which we were able to leverage our influence and build out our dreams here,” Bazzy said.

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Bazzy said she leases to show support to those who are supporting her mission. That mission is to eradicate poverty and suffering and pave the road to success through education and training.

“This is our commercial kitchen, that produces product to market. Our clients are trained in our culinary arts program and are employed here at a living wage,” Bazzy said.

Carly Wills is one of those employees. She lost her home during the 2020 wildfires in California and moved back to her home state of Michigan with her two children. She did not have a plan or options until she was introduced into Zaman International culinary program.

“I feel very empowered being here,” Wills said. “It’s a complete family atmosphere.”

Youlanda Gardenhire was doing janitorial work and earning low pay. In just six months, she’s now making a living wage and she’s able to support her son. Her biggest plan is to support the organization that changed her life.

“A year from now I want to have my name on the platinum donors one day,” Gardenhire said.

Both women are working and feeling good about themselves. They are basking in the attention the organization has gained from a new commercial.

Click here to learn more about Zaman International.

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About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.