Nature can be very unpredictable, and Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg has fallen victim to its forces on many occasions. In the past, residents were faced with damaging floods and devastating fires which displaced many, destroying homes and livelihood.
Muslim communities from the Northern suburbs decided it was time to be proactive and have joined forces to create the Alexandra Disaster Relief Initiative. It began with the foresight of the communities of Kelvin, Ashraful Uloom (Marlboro) and Johannesburg Emergency Services, who had pre-packed hampers to be used in the event of an emergency. The relief packs were sourced, packed and stored by members of the Kelvin community.
The pilot project initially took flight on 12 April 2017 when a tragic fire in the township left 19 families destitute. Due to the hampers being packed and on stand-by a few months before, the victims were provided with basic essentials without delay. Pre-packing the hampers allows for better response times, more effective assistance and organisation in times of adversity.
The success of the first project prompted another collection which was organised on 3 June 2017. Volunteers from the Northern suburbs spent their Saturday packing boxes of indispensable wares, most of which may seem like a daily grocery run to some, but is in fact a lifeline to those in need. These compassionate citizens pooled their resources together and collected various non-perishable groceries and essential commodities which could be used in a state of an emergency. 150 hampers, valued at R15 000 in total, were assembled and sealed, ready to be used when calamity strikes again.
The remarkable response and generosity of these individuals is highly commended. Not only did they donate all the goods for the relief hampers, they also supplied their time and effort to compiling the boxes.
These hampers came in handy once again, when another fire broke out in Alexandra on 10 June 2017, where two homes were sadly burnt to the ground, affecting nine people. The Ashraful Uloom team swiftly responded to the disaster on behalf of the Northern suburb organisations and masjids.
The Alexandra Disaster Relief Initiative aims to bring about social change in communities, creating awareness of the plight of the less fortunate who dwell in this area. This initiative brings the communities from the different suburbs and groups together for a common purpose; assisting humanity. It inspired the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ among all and gives those left destitute a sense of hope that there are communities out there who care and are always willing to help.
The communities involved include: Athol Muslim Jamaat, Sandton Islamic Association, Kelvin Residents Association, Wendywood Muslim Jamaat, Ashraful Uloom – Marlboro, Buccleuch Masjid, Marlboro Masjid, Sunninghill Muslim Association, and Linbro Park Islamic Association.
For more information about this initiative, please email Moulana Riaz Moosa on firstname.lastname@example.org