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Toilets for South Africa’s Most Vulnerable

Pit toilets are still a reality in South Africa and many schools are still using this system due to a lack of resources. Use of these toilets has resulted in physical injury, illness and in a few cases, the deaths of learners.

According to statistics from the Department of Basic Education briefing on the 7th of November 2018, out of the country’s 23 334 active schools, 3 898 still had pit latrines as the only form of sanitation.

The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa partnered with the Gift of the Givers and launched a campaign to eradicate pit toilets from South African schools. The President of the country himself, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, called upon the private sector and other stakeholders to join forces with the government to eradicate this problem.

In term two, Qurtuba Islamic Academy embarked on a fund-raising initiative to assist their brothers and sisters in education. Their aim was to help make a difference by providing six cubicle toilets to a school in urgent need, by providing an environment where learners are educated with dignity.

Juluka Ndoda Primary School in the Kwadudela area of Howick, has for years been subjected to toilet facilities which were in an appalling state. Juluka Ndoda is a top performing school with more than 700 pupils attending from Grade R to Grade 7, but with toilet facilities that were no longer fit for use. The KwaZulu Natal Department of Public Works, which is responsible for the school’s buildings had conducted site visits and deemed the facilities unfit.

On the 12th of September 2019, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa together with Qurtuba Islamic Academy and Gift of the Givers handed over newly built toilet cubicles to the school. The pupils also received little gift packs of sweets and stationery, and were given important advice on hygiene and academic excellence.

Learners and teachers at Juluka Ndoda Primary School have expressed their gratitude for the 12 toilet cubicles that will now allow them to concentrate on the important work of learning.

Follow Qurtuba Islamic Academy to see the work they are doing:

Instagram – @qurtubaislamicacademy

Facebook – @qurtubaislamicacademy

Twitter – @QurtubaIA

 

How can you help?

By donating towards this life changing project.

For more information or to contribute:
Contact Ml Asad Pandor – apandor@jamiatsa.org

or

make a deposit into their account:

Name: Jamiatul Ulama South Africa Relief

Bank: Nedbank Fordsburg

Branch code: 198 765

Account Number: 1953 285 937

Reference: Your name/Toilets 4 schools

Lillah and Sadaqah applicable

A candle in the winds of destruction

For security guard, Aram Morapa, living in a shack when the cold arrives is cause for plenty of concern. Little did he realise that the cold weather on the morning of Wednesday 2nd October 2019 would play a role in the loss of all his possessions, and the tragic loss of his elderly neighbour.
Aram lived in a warehouse in Marlboro that housed approximately 102 people in an estimated 45 shacks.

Aram Morapa

At approximately 7.45pm Aram and his wife heard his neighbour’s cries of “fire, fire”. He exited his shack and saw his neighbour’s shack engulfed in flames. The residents tried throwing buckets of water to douse the fire, but it was too late. The fire had spread fast to the shacks attached and engulfed them too.
Aram’s wife, Nomsa, managed to get out while Aram tried to salvage a blanket from the shack to cover her and offer some form of protection from the cold. He was too late, the fire had ravaged his shack and all he could do was head for the exit.

Nomsa Morapa

“The flames were coming too fast, I left the blankets and ran,” Aram says. “I found the exit was full of fire. I saw the steps going up and I saw my neighbour running, so I followed him. We found an exit upstairs and I was the last person out. Everybody made it except an old man in his seventies.”


Everything was gone except what he was wearing and his cell phone in his pocket. Through the kindness of friends, family and anonymous donors Aram and his wife have some essentials to help them on their road to recovery.
City of Johannesburg Disaster Management Logistics Response and Relief were quick to respond and sought the help of various aid organisations such as Marlboro Women’s Forum, Al-Imdaad and Gift of the Givers, to donate food, blankets and other health items. Ashraful Aid and Linbro Islamic Trust additionally offered hot meals to the victims in the evenings.


It is alleged that the fire was started by a candle that got knocked over and ignited a blanket, and an investigation is currently under way.
“Be very careful. We have been using paraffin for two weeks because we haven’t had electricity,” Aram advises. “If you are using candles, do what you need to do then extinguish it. Never leave a candle unattended as an animal or child can knock it down, we have to think for them. If you are drunk, don’t light anything.”

Alexandra Disaster Relief Hampers – The Northern suburbs band together

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.

Basic essentials were collected for emergency purposes

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.

Hampers packed and ready to go!

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.

Community members, young and old helped to pack the hampers

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.

Left: A resident receiving his relief hamper. Right: Effects of the devastating fire.

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 riaz.moosa@madressah.org.za