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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

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

Penny Appeal SA Partners with Lumkani to Donate Early-Warning Fire-Detection Systems in Masiphumelele

Every year, townships around the country are devastated by rapid and widespread shack fires, often leading to loss of property and possessions, and sometimes, the tragic demise of precious lives. The combination of strong winds, flammable building materials and densely populated settlements with few access roads make informal communities extremely vulnerable to the spread of uncontrollable fires that are difficult to put out, and often, there isn’t enough time to warn residents and get them out safely.

 

In order to mitigate damages and prevent loss of life, Penny Appeal South Africa partnered with Lumkani in August 2018 to donate and distribute 100 early-warning devices within Masiphumelele, a township in Cape Town. Lumkani is the name for the compact device that acts as an early-warning system to reduce the destruction caused by the spread of slum fires in urban informal settlements. The ‘fire-detection device’ concept was born from a collaboration between Samuel Ginsberg, a lecturer from the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Cape Town, and his student, Francois Petousis, who came up with a solution to the problem, which they named Lumkani – a solution that would change the lives of thousands of people.

When the risk of a fire arises, the detectors send out an early-warning alarm, networked within a 60-metre radius, which allows people to evacuate their living spaces, and for help to be alerted. This, in turn, allows for the community to become pro-active in ensuring that the risk of injury and loss of life can be averted, belongings can be salvaged and disasters minimised. The collaboration with Lumkani was smoothly implemented, along with the help of the community liaison officer, who provided excellent support in identifying locations and areas where the devices should be installed.

Residents who inhabit the Masiphumelele informal settlement will undisputedly benefit from this intervention, as being signalled as soon as a fire breaks out will allow them to grab their most important belongings, gather loved ones, and immediately evacuate the affected area. 

In addition to Penny Appeal SA’s generous blanket distribution and provision of warm meals during the winter months, this charitable organisation wanted to invest more in the safety and wellbeing of our fellow South African citizens.

We hope to see Lumkani early-warning fire-detection systems allocated across all local townships in future, as this innovative invention could be the answer to saving homes, personal effects and most importantly, lives. 

For more information, please contact Shaheen Sha from Penny Appeal SA on 081 407 2753 or email hello@pennyappeal.org.za

To learn more about Lumkani, visit their website

 

Muslim Hands hosts ‘Ladies 5 Dams Hiking Challenge’

Sociologist and civil-rights activist, W.E.B. Dubois once said: “There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.”

The ladies of Muslim Hands prove this to be true, always finding creative ways to assist their community in times of need. The recent water crisis in Cape Town spurred them on an exciting and charitable adventure, combining fitness with fundraising.

On 8 April 2018, 26 outdoor-loving women participated in the ‘Ladies 5 Dams Hiking Challenge’, organised by Muslim Hands and led by avid hiker, Fatima Sait. The ladies challenged themselves to hike around five dams in the Cape Town area, hoping to raise enough money to build well-points, in response to the local drought.

Each participant was encouraged to raise money for the well-points in order to participate in the challenge. There was also a registration fee that supplemented the cause. Non-potable water helps to take the strain off the municipality grid and the water is channelled through to toilets, gardens and mosques.

These five dams can be found behind the majestic Table Mountain, and include: Alexandra Dam, Victoria Dam, De Villiers Reservoir, Woodhead Dam and Hely-Hutchinson. Along with the spectacular views and an unforgettable experience, the ladies were also enlightened on the history surrounding the dams which were built between 1896 and 1907, in order to service the water needs of Cape Town.

The NGO has already completed six well-points since November 2017 and intends on completing six more by June 2018. The hiking challenge is yet another way that Muslim Hands strives to assist with the water shortage. The ladies successfully raised enough money to build another well-point, which will be installed in the chosen location after the fasting month of Ramadaan.

We salute their athleticism and generous efforts which will benefit thousands in the area.

For more information on this project, please contact Zakiyah Ebrahim on 021 633 6413 or email zakiyah.ebrahim@muslimhands.org.za

Johannesburg Muslim Communities Join Forces for #OperationWater

As a famous English proverb goes, ‘two minds are better than one’. In this case, collective minds came together to make a big impact.

Moulana Suhail Wadee of Ashraful Uloom in Marlboro, Johannesburg, initiated #OperationWater: a water-collection drive for the drought-stricken city of Cape Town. The project’s success is owed to its collaboration with Wendywood Muslim Jamaat, Linbro Islamic Trust and Abdullah bin Salaam Masjid. This is the second water distribution that Ashraful Uloom has initiated this year; the first delivery was made in mid-February 2018.

This combined effort included fundraising, purchasing of water from the So Pure water factory, as well as organising transportation and distribution in Cape Town. 4800 five-litre water bottles were purchased and distributed in the effort to ease the strain of the drought on residents in the area. That’s an amazing 24 000 litres which was gratefully welcomed by the local community. In addition to the water that was sent down, a wellpoint was also established by the group at Madrassa-Tu-Tarbiyyah in Eagle Park, Cape Town to create a more sustainable solution.

Delivery of the water bottles was made to Masjidul Ishraaq on the 3rd of March 2018 in Lotus River, and volunteers distributed the containers to various mosques in the Cape region. The group have aspirations to set up more wellpoints in Cape Town in the near future.

This collaborative effort exudes the strength of unity and exhibits what can be accomplished when determined people come together to make a difference.

Watch this snippet of the #OperationWater project in action: