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About Us

At Sahaba Initiative, we ignite change through service. With your help, we can change lives, build strong families and inspire hope for a thriving community.

Our Vision

To transform lives by leading community programs that inspire future generations to break cycles of poverty.

Our Mission

To transform communities and support families in crisis through addressing core areas in housing, hunger, economic stability, and well-being.

Our Values

We hold these values central for our organization:

Dignity كرامة
All people hold a special value that is tied solely to their humanity.

Trust أمانة
Demonstrating sound moral and ethical principles, accountable, responsible, and truthful.

Excellence إحسان
Excellence requires constant adaptation, innovation, and beauty in order to achieve success.

Our History


Food Distribution at Local Parks

Motivated to create change, a group of students organized a feeding at our local park distributing fresh food, vegetables and chicken to the homeless community. This small action inspired us to work towards sustainable change.


Support Groups for Formerly Incarcerated

Started hosting and organizing support groups for people who were formerly incarcerated and wanted to give back to society. During that same year, a film that we created about taking care of our parents won an award with a cash prize that allowed us to file for nonprofit status.


Inspiring Young People to take Action

We went around Southern California speaking to young people about social issues and the importance of giving back to your community. At one of our events a community member was particularly inspired by our presentation and offered a small space in San Bernardino to allow us to serve.


Open Doors to Food Pantry

Through a small grant we began building our food pantry by purchasing refrigeration units, painting the walls, doing the flooring and purchasing shelves to create a space to host food. We partnered with our local food bank and began distributing food on a weekly basis.


Launched Financial Assistance Program

We partnered with several masajid and donors to distribute zakat to vulnerable families and individuals. We began receiving applicants from all over the Inland Empire from a variety of backgrounds which included refugees, formerly incarcerated people and single mothers.


Created Community Garden

In response to requests for healthy food we developed a community garden that also served as a space to increase wellness by gardening.


*Expanded/Renovated our Food Pantry

As our food pantry became an important beacon of hope for the community we rented extra space to expand our food distribution.


Began Annual Ramadan Iftar at Mayor’s Patio

After the horrific events of the San Bernardino shooting we decided to begin to foster healing and be intentional about our work with our partners and gather everyone once a year to increase our commitment to creating change.


*First Completed Torchbearers*

We launched our first torchbearers program which works with high school and college students to provide community services to our local community.The program focuses on promoting cooperation, character building and critical thinking skills.


Purchased Building and California Nonprofit of the Year

In 2018 we closed escrow for Sahaba Initiative’s New Center of service. This space will be a place of healing and service for families. This could not have been possible without the Immense support from the Southern California Muslim community. That same year we were recognized as the California Nonprofit of the Year and we were selected out of over 70 nonprofits in our district. We were recognized at the State Capitol in front of hundreds of changemakers.


Started Mental Health Counseling Services

We welcomed Samira Hazama, MS, LMFT to our team to provide psychotherapy services for individuals, family, couples, and children. Her goal as a therapist is to provide a safe, supportive and empathetic environment for clients working towards healing and interpersonal growth.


Began Mobile Food Pantry Program

Since the pandemic started there’s been an increased demand all across the region and we came to the rescue. We’ve hosted drive-thru all throughout the region in areas where nobody goes to ensure people have access to food. We took this to the next level by launching our mobile food pantry program in remote locations.


Expanded our Team

In order to meet the increasing demand for our services and incredible growth we hired our co- founder Malek Bendelhoum to lead our staff and drive our organization’s growth. Additionally, we welcomed two Community Health Workers who provide vital support to clients, employing a holistic approach to address their needs. As well as three licensed therapists who specialize in client-centered therapy, ensuring culturally sensitive care.


Closed escrow on New Food and Welness Center

In March of 2022 we closed escrow on our new Food and Wellness Center. This center was a former illegal drug house that was the scourge of the community! Now, we are transforming this building to a beacon of hope in such an extremely impoverished area in San Bernardino. Located blocks away from downtown San Bernardino and San Bernardino High School, this center is located where our services are needed most. Our center provides fresh and nutritious food, a space for prayer and healing, as well as an educational space.

Our People

Our Careers