In previous years we used to provide a large airfare subsidy to many individuals. USA is a large country with each state larger than many countries in the world. No matter where we host the annual ijtema, there is significant travel involved for most of the Khuddam. We realize that the cost of the travel can be high but we hope that you will find the experience to be worth it.
Last year the Shura made two decisions which were approved by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih (aba). Firstly, the Shura decided that the National Ijtema must be rotated among all regions instead of hosting it in one geographic area every year. Secondly, the Shura eliminated the travel subsidy from the budget and put that money in the Ijtema budget. The thinking behind is that if we increase the quality of the ijtema then people will naturally come to enjoy it every year.
We will offer a very limited need-based subsidy to some Khuddam who are unable to afford the cost of travel to the Ijtema. As explained above, we do not have a lot of funds for it this year so it will be very selective and priority will also be given to those who book early. Once the money runs out, there will be no more subsidy. Don’t assume you will receive a subsidy until your request is approved. Local majalis can also subsidize some costs if they have room in their local budgets but we will leave this decision to each majlis.
Book early and apply for the subsidy soon. The subsidy will be paid a few weeks after the Ijtema.
There is also an airfare loan program available. If you want to come but don’t afford the ticket right now, we will hook you up with a brother who will pay for your airfare with the promise that you will pay him back in a few months.