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Single Mum’s Initiative Supports and Empowers Struggling Mothers

Teacher. Cook. Housekeeper. Caregiver. Protector. Defender. Provider. There are many roles which a single mother juggles, and balancing all these can be quite overwhelming and stressful. The Single Mums Initiative acknowledges that while all mothers are at full capacity with responsibilities, single mums often bear the demands of motherhood alone.

 

The SMI network was started to support and empower single mothers and provides them with financial, physical and mental assistance. Their first networking and fundraising event took place during December 2018 in Azaadville, Johannesburg, with another in April 2019. Fun-day activities entertained children with cake decorating, rock painting, tin bowling, etc., and the proceeds from tickets sold were banked into the organisation’s charitable fund.

The welfare organisation also sponsors monthly hampers worth R500 to struggling mums. Regardless of race or religion, all single mothers are welcome to become a part of this caring and supportive circle of women.

Joining the Single Mums Initiative holds many benefits, including:

A support system. One of the most important benefits of joining support groups for single parents is that they provide mothers with a support system. This will make single mums feel less alone when caring for their kids. Many single parents suffer from emotional and mental stress because they think they’re alone on their parenthood journey. With support groups, single mums can gain more friends who understand and sympathise with their situation.

Independence and self-empowerment. SMI aims to empower mums by allowing them to become independent. The organisation intends on providing small business opportunities to mothers as part of their long-term goal. 

Raising awareness. SMI wants to raise awareness of the struggles that single mums are faced with, especially since they are often discriminated against within society and looked down upon. The group would like to elevate the status of single mothers by showering them with appreciation.

Aiding with basic needs. The organisation offers monthly hampers to single mums until they’re able to provide for themselves. This helps to reduce the financial stress of not having basic needs available for their children.

Benefits for the children. Children from single-parent homes are impacted emotionally and psychologically. SMI’s goal is to provide childcare opportunities, as well as psychological help for kids of single mothers.

Once a month, an amazing occupational therapist from the Single Mums Initiative holds a support group session for all members. The objectives of these meetings cover:

  • Building self-esteem, reducing self-blame.
  • Dealing with sadness, depression, feelings of loss and feeling stuck.
  • Mind limitations
  • Dealing with problems and problem solving
  • financial stressors and work
  • Dealing with stigma, society and feelings of being an outcast.
  • Use of free time
  • Children
  • Family and friends

SMI hopes to act as a medium for single mums and direct them to the help they require. They are currently working on establishing a network for this purpose. Some needs include legal advice, home rental, maintenance, childcare and transportation.

Charity isn’t always found in material things. The Single Mums Initiative has extended a hand of warmth, compassion, belonging and most importantly, moral support to single mothers; commending their strength and building up their confidence. 

For more information, please contact Nazeefa Sibda on 0842205958 or email nazeefasibda@gmail.com

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