Husami Feeding Scheme Sustains Cape Town’s Needy Communities

In a recent General Household Survey conducted by Statistics South Africa, it’s been estimated that over 7 million citizens experience hunger. Sadly, most of the sufferers are young children, and the lack of proper nutritional sustenance is a merciless gateway to crime, illness and even death. On a more positive note, there is a lot we can do to improve these stats. One group in Cape Town has taken an unabridged approach to fighting hunger in their city, and have been feeding the needy for more than 15 years.

The Husami Feeding Scheme began with volunteers cooking one pot of food every Saturday in Ramadaan (fasting month), to cooking between six to eight pots every week during the holy month. The Husami group have also recently teamed up with a charitable body called ‘Lace up for Change’, to cook a few pots of food once a month for those struck by poverty and economic hardships. These hot meals provide nourishment to various local impoverished communities, as well as residents of the Vision and Child Youth Care Centre and the Beitul Amaan old age home.

The teams make recurrent visits to the old age home and various orphanages, and also assist with the sponsorship of stationary and school clothes for destitute youth. Food parcels are regularly packaged for the less fortunate and needy families.

The name of the feeding scheme, ‘Husami’, is aligned to the masjid (place of worship) in Cravenby, Cape Town, from where all the meals are cooked. This beneficial scheme runs throughout the year ensuring that the poorer communities are never left malnourished. Volunteers also visit the Vision Child and Youth Care Centre in Mountview (Landsdowne, Cape Town) to host special braais and dinners, and ensure that the kids’ schooling needs are met. The Beitul Amaan old age home in Wynberg is also an establishment where the Husami group spends time to attend to the needs of the elderly. 

The benefactors choose to remain anonymous, and are content just knowing that their donations are going to an exceptionally helpful cause. They are constantly updated via a broadcast group on WhatsApp, and donors are always willing to make a contribution whenever the need arises.

No matter the challenges and difficulties that life may throw at them, these disadvantaged individuals can always rely on getting their hunger sated with a wholesome and fulfilling meal at Husami Masjid. 

 

For more information, contact Murad Ebrahim on 060 526 6149 or email murad.ebrahim@spintelligent.com

Teddy Bear Clinic Spreads the Love on Valentine’s Day with a Cake Sale

Valentine’s Day may be a grand romantic gesture for some, or simply another day in the year for others. Members of the Teddy Bear Clinic used the sentimental commotion that surrounds this day as an opportunity to help children in need.

Fatima Omar took the initiative to spread the love this February, in a way that is far removed from the customary chocolate hearts and flowers. As a dedicated volunteer at the Teddy Bear Clinic, Fatima works tirelessly in order to enrich the lives of children in straitened circumstances. These young citizens have faced the worst of battles and desperately need access to the clinic’s services.

Fatima tasked herself with baking an assortment of delicious confectionary, and requested others to bake and donate towards the Teddy Bear Clinic’s cake sale fundraiser. After the cakes were frosted and her apron dusted, Fatima and the other volunteers sold the baked goods at the Valentine’s Market at Wesbank in Fairlands, Johannesburg.

The cake sale took place on 13 and 14 February, in time for people who were celebrating to spoil their loved ones with sweet treats, while spending towards a greater cause. An amount of R5127 was raised during the event, which will dearly help abused children who are in dire need of medical attention, forensic assessments, therapy, psychological counselling and court preparation.

Fatima’s mother, Dr Shaheda Omar is the director of the Teddy Bear Foundation and leads by example, always going the extra mile to do her best for the kids. Witnessing the amazing results that come from Dr Omar’s hard work and selfless dedication, has inspired her family to also get involved.

Child abuse is a tragic and traumatising experience to the child and their family, often one that is never-ending. The Teddy Bear Foundation assists abused children by accompanying them, step-by-step on their ‘Journey to Healing’. For mental and physical restoration to take place, these children have to be gently counselled, treated for medical afflictions, psychologically evaluated, and sometimes briefed for court appearances. While the Teddy Bear Clinic has the valued support of unpaid volunteers like Fatima, medical aid costs as well as administrative expenses add up. The organisation benefits greatly from donations and fundraisers such as this one.

We can actively make a difference in the life of an abused child by donating, raising funds or just being a pillar of support, hope and love to them. Together, we can turn a child’s horrendous nightmare into another day of survival.

 

For more information, please contact the Teddy Bear Clinic on 083 469 9196 or email daleneb@ttbc.org.za

CWF Kids Read to Raise Funds for Special-Needs Children

“Sometimes, superheroes reside in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.”

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than witnessing young children being diagnosed with a terminal or chronic illness. On the other hand, there’s nothing more heartwarming than attesting to the great strength and unbreakable spirit that these kids demonstrate.

Zayn Cajee is one such child – a courageous little warrior, a mighty soldier and an effervescent toddler who was diagnosed with a rare disease at just a few months old. Now aged three, Zayn is a signifier of strength, faith and hope. Fortunately, he has had access to exceptional healthcare and assistive devices, which have made his condition somewhat more manageable. There are many children with similar conditions who are unable to acquire or afford specialised resources and medical treatment.

Realising how much of a difference good health facilities and therapeutics can make, Zayn’s parents were inspired to start a fund in order to assist those who are less fortunate, and provide assistance to children who require mobility, hearing, visual, learning or communication aids.

CWF Kids showed their support of the Zayn Cajee Children’s Warrior Fund, and aimed to raise money and awareness towards the provision of assistive devices to children who can’t afford them. CWF Kids takes on two projects per year, and in 2018, their hearts were drawn to campaigning for Zayn Cajee’s project.

At the end of last year, kids around the country did their part in raising money for this worthy cause. The primary aim of this most recent fundraising project was to encourage children to read, and so, a read-a-thon was suggested. Getting the youth to improve their literacy skills, while collecting funds for other children with special health needs is an insightful and beneficial idea! 

From August 2018 to January 2019, children throughout the country devoured as many new books as they could, bookmarked pages, shared stories, and enriched their own lives, as well as those of the CWF Kids. The children and area representatives did a sterling job nationwide and were able to collect a grand total of R70 000. The money raised is dedicated to making a change and improving the lives of children that are in desperate need of assistive devices.

This touching campaign is more than just a fundraising initiative, it teaches children from an early age that the gift of giving is far more valuable than receiving, and that, although they may be young of age, they have the power and ability to make a difference. We’d love to see ‘reading with a purpose’ become the foundation for more youth-led fundraising projects.

Read more about Zayn’s incredible journey on his blog, which is run by his parents.

For more information on the CWF Kids, contact Nousheen on 082 545 2888 or email info@cwfkids.org.za

Mini Miracles ease new mothers into parenthood with baby starter packs

“A mother is always the beginning. She is how things begin.” – Amy Tan

From the moment a new life is ushered into the world, the entire conservation of their existence rests on the shoulders of his or her mother for the first few months, although the significance of a mother’s role can never be fully illustrated nor appreciated. In an attempt to help destitute new mums embrace that role better, Razeena Saloojee established Mini Miracles – an ongoing fundraising drive that uses its foundation to benefit struggling mothers and their newborn babies.

Initiated in September 2018, Mini Miracles has been collecting donations and assembling ‘baby starter packs’ which are generously-filled bags containing with all the essentials every new mother needs. With the rising prices of diapers, baby toiletries, clothes and formula, it becomes almost impossible for low-income families to keep up with the constant requirements of an infant.

The Mini Miracles project spreads its open hands across Hillbrow Hospital in Johannesburg and FER Hospital on the far East Rand. The project is an ongoing one, with Razeena working ceaselessly to collect enough funds or contributions to make up the hampers. Each hamper usually includes baby clothes, a blanket, face cloths, maternity pads, toilet rolls, wet wipes and nappies, as well as something for the new mother to snack on during those long, sleepless nights. The lovely tote that the products are packaged in also serves as a functional nappy bag.

There is no reward greater than seeing the look of desperation washed away from the face of an exhausted mother, post-labour, after being presented with a gift bag of everything that she and her little treasure would need. Many of these mums arrive at the hospital with few or no baby products in hand.

Thus far, a total of 360 bags have been created, with thanks due to the many generous donations of money and items. Each bag is valued at +/-R230. Last December, 50 ‘Mum and Baby’ packs were also given to charity organisation, Colours of Hope, to distribute at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Razeena is grateful for all the support she’s received towards the project from her family and friends. Local bloggers also joined in to donate and promote the campaign via their online social media platforms which increased awareness.

We hope to see this project grow and expand to more public hospitals around South Africa. Until then, Razeena and her benevolent sponsors can be content that so many young lives began with love, comfort and cosiness, all thanks to them.

 

For more information on Mini Miracles, please contact Razeena Saloojee on 072 221 2342 or email razi@maingaming.co.za

Sisters of Hope provide new school shoes for children to step into the new year

For most children, the start of the school year is always ridden with an equal mix of excitement and anxiousness. They have concerns about new class schedules and friends, getting accustomed to different teachers and making it on the sports team. Other kids have far more weighty concerns regarding the new school year; they don’t even have the necessary school uniform or stationery. 

The kindhearted ladies from Sisters of Hope were determined to make the new academic year a positive one for underprivileged children in Cape Town. The team held a fundraising dinner last year, where they were able to raise R21 ooo in aid of poorer communities. These funds were used to purchase brand new school shoes for children from Westbury, Newclare, Riverlea and Coronation madressahs. Most of these children’s parents are unemployed, and therefore cannot afford to buy them new school uniforms, shoes or stationery.

On 12 and 13 January 2019, the sisters handed out a notable 330 pairs of school shoes to the kids, who were overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness shown to them.

Sisters of Hope is an NPC dedicated to providing aid, uplifting and supporting orphans, and less fortunate children and elders who are vulnerable and do not have financial resources in Westbury, Newclare, Riverlea, Coronationville, Claremont and surrounding areas. These districts are known for notorious gangsterism, drugs, poverty, unemployment and terribly fearful living conditions. Their commitment is to provide help to these needy children and youth who are exposed to this toxic environment. “Sadness is to see children and elders suffering,” they mention.

The ladies who form Sisters of Hope industriously volunteer year in and year out, and believe in fundraising instead of asking for donations. It is with the assistance of their communities that they are able to gain support for their various initiatives. They also have a SOH Muslimah Youth group that aims to keep teens off the street and assists and grooms them into becoming good role models to their peers, as so many youngsters have fallen prey to drugs. This year, they also plan on empowering the mums in these vulnerable areas by enabling them to become self-sustaining Inshaa Allah.

 

For more information on Sisters of Hope, please contact Shenaaz Farred on 083 352 6663 or email sistersofhope2017@gmail.com

ICare’s Annual Children’s Day Spreads Cheer to Underprivileged Kids

The most valuable lessons that we can learn from children are how to play without abandon, find joy in the simplest things and be genuinely happy for no reason. These are the nuggets of wisdom that were so freely and joyously spread by kids of all ages at ICare’s Annual Children’s Day. Despite their less than ideal socio-economic situations, children from various orphanages and safe havens were treated to an entire day of FUN and PLAY, banishing thoughts of their despairing conditions without any worry about tomorrow.

The ICare Children’s Foundation raised the spirits of dozens of underprivileged kids on 6 December 2018, at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. They were transported from numerous  homes in the Cape area, including Bokaap Helpers, Elonwabeni Child and Family Centre, Marsh Memorial, Beitun Nur, Peace Home, Sherwood Park Safe House, Heideveld Safe House, Wisdom Pond, Driftsands Madressah, SOS Childrens’ Home, Solomons Haven, CT Multipurpose Centre and Baitul Ansaar.

For most of the elated youngsters, this was not just their first trip to the Castle of Good Hope, but it was their first journey into the actual CBD. Organisers and volunteers had a fun-filled day planned out, dotted with exciting activities, hearty meals and snacks, party packs and engaging rounds of sports and games. The kids also thoroughly enjoyed Playpoi, a performance art composed of swinging special tethered weights in rhythmical patterns.

The City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue also lent their time and skills to do an informative presentation on fire-safety awareness. These tips are vital to vulnerable children living in informal settlements that are prone to shack fires.

Starting the day off on a healthy note, the children were treated to a nutritious breakfast and later a delicious lunch, which was the perfect refresher on the active day. Local professional soccer players from Cape Town City F.C. contributed their time to interact with the kids and gave them a motivational talk.

A fantastic grand total of over R50 000 was raised and contributed towards the event, made possible by a thread of charitable sponsors. ICare extends their most heartfelt gratitude to:

  • Shaieda and Adiel Lakay, as well as the Wynberg volunteers for preparing the breakfast, fruit and party packs.
  • Florida Foods, Truda Chips, Jive, Castle of Good Hope, Sulaiman & Sons, Palmo Meats and other sponsors.
  • Sports Stepping Stones, for providing the sporting activities.
  • The Original Cause Cabal, for introducing the children to Playpoi.
  • Cape Town City Football Club, for making time in their busy schedule to spend time with the kids.
  • Ivan Neethling and his team for sponsoring the venue.

Guest Patrons included Pastor Emmanuel Platzes, Prince and Paramount Chief Cyril January, and Adam Cloete (representative of the January Royal House of the Khoisan).

Undoubtedly the highlight of their year, the kids’ jubilant experience at ICare’s Annual Children’s Day is one which they will fondly remember. Thanks to ICare for bringing such joy into these little lives!

 

For more information on ICare Children’s Foundation, contact Sadiyya Absalom on 081 390 5039 / 021 699 0302 or email sadiyya@icare.org.za

Just Plated Ladies Tea Raises Funds for ILM-SA’s Education Initiative

It’s that time of year when young and eager matriculants have to make the most important decision of their lives. “What will my future look like? What should I study?” For some, the most agonising part is waiting for their final matric results, which will help to steer their academic path. For others, it wouldn’t matter whether they’ve achieved 4 or even 9 distinctions; they don’t have the funds to go to the university of their choice either way.

ILM-SA (Institute for Learning and Motivation South Africa) is an Islamic NPO that specialises in socio-economic empowerment, education and motivational programmes. They’ve built their respectable position as a bursary-fund facilitator on the philosophy that every student has the right and potential to access tertiary education, regardless of their race, gender, religion or social standing. 

On 1 December 2018, the compassionate ladies of Just Plated held a ‘Ladies Tea’ fundraiser for the ILM-SA bursary fund. The enjoyable event took place at Randeree’s Braai Ranch in Sherwood, Durban. The event was intended as a ‘meet and greet’ function and tea for the members of the various social media groups that encompass the recipe-share pages known as Just Plated. While the event was small-scale, money was raised through ticket sales and donations.

There were a number of local sponsors who generously contributed to the event:

  • Beloved local cookbook author Jameela Sayed shared her time and expertise with the attendees and donated her cookbooks for the giveaway prizes.
  • Sumaya Rashid spoilt the ladies with some of her delicious desserts.
  • Mariam of Cocoanilla prepared some of her delightful cakes for the event.
  • Other major sponsors included Allifa’s Spices, Clover SA, Montagu Dried Fruit & Nuts, and Buttanutt SA.

The funds raised will be donated towards the Institute for Learning and Motivation South Africa and is intended to help underprivileged young adults to achieve their dreams through tertiary bursaries. The students will be assisted with funding towards university fees, textbooks, accommodation, food supply and transport.

ILM-SA does not burden the students with having to pay back exorbitant study loans, but instead encourages them to pay it forward and play an active role in volunteering at ILM-SA charity events. These newly-qualified professionals are asked to give back to their communities and act as role models for the younger generation. There is no better gain or reward than seeing these sponsored students graduate and do something truly worthwhile with their lives.

For more information on Just Plated, email maryamv.design@gmail.com

Contact Ilm SA on info@ilmsa.co.za or visit their website for more information.

Islamic Relief ‘Bakes the World a Better Place’ with Fundraiser for Yemen

A country shattered by the repercussions of a civil war, Yemen is one of the poorest nations in the Middle East. Thousands of civilians have lost their lives in the war, tens of thousands more have incurred severe injuries, and millions are left in desperate need of humanitarian aid, medical treatment and food. According to the BBC, 8. 4 million people are at a risk of starvation, with young children at the highest risk of malnutrition and mortality. 

Islamic Relief SA brought attention to the calamities faced by the everyday Yemeni, by holding a drive to raise funds for the imperilled nation.  The ‘Bake the world a better place’ project took place on 24 November 2018 in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. This community fundraiser had local Samaritans get out their sugar and spatulas in aid of the cause. Well-loved neighbourhood café, Solly’s Corner in Lilian Ngoyi Street availed their premises for the event which began after 10 am. 

A score of big-hearted volunteers offered to put up their finest creations for sale, with all proceeds going towards assisting orphans in Yemen. The event placed emphasis on the tagline #YEMENCANTWAIT as World Digest estimates that 85 000 children have already died of starvation. This famine-ridden country deserves far more media attention and everyone is encouraged to also adopt this hashtag.

Islamic Relief SA was touched by the number of bakers who approached them to sponsor different type of cakes and baked goods. Their willingness to give back to humanity is a step in the right direction. They were also awed by the generosity of all those who made donations in cash or kind towards the project. “May Allah bless them all.”

A total amount of R21 000 was raised which will be used to attain medical supplies, food and shelter for destitute Yemenis. Islamic Relief also hopes to contribute towards giving them better standards of living – Insha-Allah. The current accelerating cholera outbreak has seen up to 10 000 new cases being reported per week.

May the heartfelt gestures of South African welfare organisations, sponsors and volunteers (such as these) provide a ray of hope to the Yemeni people, who are afflicted by abysmal circumstances over 5 800km away.

For more information on the cause, contact Zaheer Rajah on 067 057 4803 or email zaheer.rajah@islamic-relief.org.za

 

Public Medical Day Benefits the Less Fortunate in Port Elizabeth

With the excessive price of private healthcare, most South African citizens have no choice but to endure the daylong queues, ill-equipped clinics, medicine shortages, overworked medics and unsanitary conditions that constitute public health centres. 

My Youth welfare organisation in Port Elizabeth took the initiative to organise a free medical day to aid the underprivileged in their city. Partnering with medical professionals from different fields, as well as considerate sponsors, the Public Medical Day became a reality on 27 October 2018.

The Malabar Community Centre in PE opened their doors to all members of the public who cannot afford treatment or check-ups. This service was especially beneficial for underprivileged students from Cleary Park, pensioners from various old age homes, the communities of townships such as Motherwell, as well as the public from Malabar, Gelvan Park and surrounding areas. A fine selection of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s best proffered their services without hesitation and they included doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, physiotherapists and homeopaths.

These twenty medical professionals dedicated their Saturday morning to treating patients, and offered:

  • Free screening and testing for blood, sugar, hypertension and cholesterol.
  • Free eyesight and dental screening
  • Treatment in the form of cupping, pain relief and chiropractic therapy.
  • Prescriptions were issued for medication
  • Free samples of over 1000 toothpastes, as well as herbal products were given out.

On average, each medical professional saw 30 patients, whose minds were set at ease after finally attaining the examinations, consultations and advice they desperately needed. The voluntary services offered by these medical experts exemplifies the compassion and enthusiasm they have for their trade.

The kind sponsors and healthcare professionals included Dr Yunus Gaida, Diabetes SA, Sensodyne, Colgate, Tibb, Dr Muhammed Essack of Smile-Hub, R Nettl, Dr Saadiya Seedat, Clicks Clinic (Kabega Park), Imran Paruk of Paruk Optometrists, PathCare, R Essop, Dr Ilhaam Cerfontein, Dr Jameel Adam, Dr Rabia Carrim, Dr Is-haaq Lekganya, Dr Mashra Gani, Dr Aadil Ahmed and Dr Naeema Mehta.

The provincial Department of Health in the Eastern Cape were so impressed with the initiative taken by My Youth and their patrons, that they sent one of their own teams to lend a helping hand. Islamic Medical Association also conducted a fact-finding visit.

The My Youth team consisted of Ahmed Ahmed, T Panday, Haroon Essop, Fuad Ajam, Haashem Sain, Ridwaan Lagardien, Moulana Muhammad Badsha and Ridwaan Astrie. Apa Hasina Desai went above and beyond to make the day a success, and helped with catering meals at the event. 

While the patients were given excellent treatment during the day, what was most significant to them is that some individuals had taken personal time out to show them care and attentiveness, reminding them that no matter where they came from or who they are, their health needs are still a valid priority and not an overlooked burden.

 

For more information on My Youth, please contact Muhammad Badsha on 078 672 7797 or email myyouthpe@gmail.com

Tibb-Allied Communities Network Mentors Healthcare Workers in Soweto

Tirelessly working to provide comfort, save lives, aid the ailing and dispense compassion, healthcare workers in South Africa are often overworked and underappreciated, and yet they still administer their daily responsibilities with passion and attentiveness. During the final quarter of 2018, a selfless group of nurses and health promoters from Soweto, Johannesburg, were given the opportunity to enhance their skills and gain professional and academic insight – courtesy of Tibb.

The Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb is a public-benefit organisation which was started by the Bhikha Family Trust in 1997, with the vision of assisting in the provision of effective, affordable healthcare to all South Africans. Promoting empowerment through health, Tibb is dedicated to social-upliftment projects mainly focusing on the education and training of healthcare workers.

The Tibb Institute partnered with the Allied Communities Network to facilitate the placement of health promoters in municipal clinics where Tibb lifestyle advice is integrated into treatment protocols. The Tibb-Allied Communities Network most recently signed a contract with the City of Joburg’s Department of Health, aimed at training 20 000 Tibb Lifestyle Advisors by 2020. They were also commissioned earlier this year to render mentoring and coaching services to health promotors across seven regions in the city for a period of three years.

The three-year programme, written by Prof. Rashid Bhikha, will cover the planning of lifestyle management care plans for patients with chronic conditions, and it will be designed by clinic health advisors, homecare facilitators and nurses. An annual donation of R1 million is set aside for this sustainable project.

Training sessions in progress at the City of Johannesburg’s Region C

During August 2018, Tibb-Allied lifestyle advisors spent the month in Soweto Region D visiting local community centres, old-aged homes and clinics, where they dispensed advice on women’s health.

These committed nurses and healthcare employees gained comprehensive knowledge on:

  • Understanding that health is holistic and entails addressing the cause of an illness.
  • Health empowerment – giving people the tools to take charge of their own health and not simply relinquish themselves to medical professionals.
  • Gaining practical advice on healthy living and the importance of lifestyle factors in health maintenance.
  • Understanding their own unique needs based on the Tibb Principles of Temperament.
  • Learning how to make healthy food choices to benefit their physical state.
  • Leaflets on all chronic conditions and the Tibb ‘Approach to Healthy Living’ were explained by Tibb lifestyle advisors.

 

The team also conducted extensive research on the improvement of the quality of life in patients using the Tibb lifestyle as part of their treatment, and the results have been extremely positive. The institute aims to benefit all those who visit municipal clinics in Johannesburg, with hopes to extend the programme to other regions in Gauteng.

Health promoters and team leaders learn how to incorporate the Tibb Lifestyle into their treatment protocols.

The programme’s success can be attributed to Alcon Dube (founder of the Allied Communities Network) for his unwavering dedication to Tibb, as well as Prof. Rashid Bhikha (Chairman and founder of the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb) for his vision and allegiance to the upliftment of healthcare services in South Africa.

 

For more information, please contact Magdalene du Sart or Nasira Bhikha-Vallee on 010 060 0888 or email info@tibb.co.za