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The Balloon Foundation Races to Raise Funds and Awareness for Gender-based Violence

“A house where a woman is unsafe is not a home.” – Liberian saying

An unspoken fear, a hidden secret and avertable shame. Stats SA revealed that 1 in 5 South African women (over the age of 18) has experienced some type of physical violence. While that ratio is staggeringly high, the social support and insight towards victims are comparatively low. In an attempt to bring awareness to the moral disease that is gender-based violence, The Balloon Foundation held an ‘Amazing Race’ fundraiser to aid the great work carried out at the NISAA Institute for Women.

After two months of intense preparation and planning, the race took place on Saturday, 13 April 2019. The Balloon Foundation team, along with assistance from 50 volunteers, the Wits MSA (Muslim Students Association) and SRC (Fatima Laher), facilitated a fun-filled day that wouldn’t easily be forgotten.

The idea of an ‘Amazing Race’ evolved after members of the NGO’s ExCo sought advice from Islamic Careline on how to create an event that would be informative, as well as interactive and attention-grabbing. What they came up with was a thrilling 10km race, where teams would have to complete 14 challenges between both east and west campuses of Wits University. The NISAA Institute was also given a chance to present themselves at the race, and promote their work to the public.

Volunteers were at the venue bright and early to set up and the race officially started at 10:45, with teams battling it out for four hours to win an amazing grand prize worth over R15 500.00 – all of which was sponsored. Money was raised by charging each competing team R600 to enter. Fees for teams which couldn’t afford the entry cost were waived, as the ultimate point of the race was to educate the public about GBV, in addition to raising funds. Indemnity forms were checked, game faces were put on, and teams were issued with wristbands, snack packs and a map.

All fired up, the teams enthusiastically dashed through the maze of compelling challenges. ER24 Johannesburg West equipped the organisers with first aid information, for use should any incident have occurred. Sky Toys and Balloon Boutique assisted with the décor for the event.

‘The Amazing Race’ Gender-based Violence Edition aims to:

1. Serve as a fundraiser for an upcoming skills development workshop during the winter holidays. This workshop will provide GBV survivors from the NISAA Institute with essential life skills, such as budgeting workshops, self-defence classes, fitness and self-care programs.

2. Show support to the endless number of GBV sufferers by functioning as an advocacy for both students and community members who have endured GBV in some way or another, but are too afraid to take a stand against it.

3. Create awareness. As the theme of most of the challenges were centred around the topic of GBV, this allowed teams to engage with, learn more and clear up the multiple misconceptions around this crucial issue.

The race brought people of all ages, races, genders and walks of life together and involved them in a topic that needs to be spoken about, through an interactive and captivating way.

Approximately, R11 300.00 was raised from this event, a feat that wouldn’t have been possible without the great number of people who had gone over and above to pull it off.

This collection will assist the NISAA Institute in arranging a workshop for female victims of gender-based violence. The workshop will give them sustainable skills which they can use to further facilitate their reintegration into society, after facing numerous forms of trauma after being exposed to GBV.

The NISAA Institute appeals to members of the public, who may have valuable skills, to share these with the women.

 

The Balloon Foundation thanks all the teams, volunteers and numerous sponsors for their outstanding effort and support in the running of the day. Their exceptional executive committee who made this vision a reality include: Maseeha Seedat (director), Layyah Mohamed (director), Aadil Seedat, Ishaaq Sader, Yumnah Bhabha, Eesa Sader, Fatima Bham, Muhammed Kathrada, Sufyaan Patel, Mohammed Zaid Moosa, Mariya Manjre, Maryam Laher, Talhah Seedat, Nabehah Seedat and Moonisah Moosa.

The highlight of the event was certainly the positive feedback received from the participating teams which reported that they thoroughly enjoyed the day, commenting that it was well-organised and informative.

The Balloon Foundation was happy to incorporate all their members’ ideas, as they believe everyone brings something to the table; a talent that can contribute towards raising hope in communities.

 

The Balloon Foundation

071 109 9750

theballoonfoundation@gmail.com

 

NISAA Institute

011 854 5804

contact@nisaa.org.za

Colours of Hope Trades Treats for Charity

While the foundation of every charity organisation is built on goodwill and noble intentions, it is ultimately funding that turns these virtuous aspirations into tangible contributions.

Colours of Hope is a humanitarian aid agency that was started by twin sisters Sa’uda and Kaashifa Asmal, who run divisions of Madrasah Ummul Hasanaat (Islamic tuition institution) in Newcastle and Johannesburg. What began as a yearly distribution of Quraans for the needy in 2009, swiftly developed into a fully-fledged philanthropic establishment.

The NPO responds to the needs of the less fortunate and tries to make a difference spiritually, morally, financially and physically. “It is our mission to make life a little better for those in need by doing the best we can, turning hope into reality,” they say.

Most recently, Colours of Hope held a bake sale to collect funds that will serve their many charitable initiatives. These projects run concurrently throughout the year and include: #MyRohingya, the Gaza Water Project, Gift-a-Quraan, Syria Medi-Campaign, Project Palestine and the Colours of Hope Baby Project.

After two weeks of planning and advertising, the fundraiser took place on Saturday, 2 March 2019, at Solly’s Corner (a takeaway café) in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. Service time was between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm, where patrons and passersby purchased delicious baked goods, sweets, savouries and confections, all in the name of charity.

The directors and volunteers of Colours of Hope organisation put in time and effort to ensure the success of the campaign and were able to raise R13 000. Other kind sponsors included Upper Crust Bakery in Lenasia, volunteer Fatima Abraham and Nasima Nalla of the Crosby Ladies Forum.

The proceeds will be used to advance the organisation’s many running projects, as and when needed. These include the Colours of Hope Baby Project, which provide hampers to underprivileged South African mothers-to-be, as well as the establishment of a water well at Yarmouk Primary school in Gaza City.

The #MyRohingya campaign sees Colours of Hope partner with fellow NPO, Lonely Orphans in Bangladesh, whereby sponsors can donate as little as R50 monthly for a year, to feed a family with a supply of rice, lentils, oil and spices.

The Asmal sisters inspire us as they positively impact desolate communities from South Africa to the Middle East. Colours of Hope demonstrate that everything great starts small. 

To assist or donate, please contact Sa’uda Asmal (CEO) or Kaashifa Asmal/Jamal (Chairperson) on 082 886 4604/079 498 3479 or email info@coloursofhope.org.za

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

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.

Care4u2 Puts the ‘Fun’ in Fundraiser with Hint Hunt

Proving that fundraisers are so much more than just motivational speeches, cake sales and walkathons, Care4u2.Respite.Outreach recently held a fun-filled charity event at Hint Hunt in Illovo, Johannesburg, to benefit those in need of wheelchairs. 

Hint Hunt is an escape-room activity where guests are locked in a room and confined for 60 minutes. During the hour, participants have to channel their inner McGyver and use their collective skills and knowledge to solve puzzles and clues in order to break out as quickly as possible, and gain freedom.

This nail-biting team-building event took place on 21 October 2018, where the young and young at heart geared up for a thrilling afternoon of riddles and recreation. Players had to purchase tickets to participate in the challenging activity which ultimately resulted in loads of fun, laughter, literally ‘thinking outside the box’, and of course feel-good vibes knowing that their money was going towards a worthy cause. 

The Care4u2 organisation is dedicated to assisting children and individuals with special needs, as well as their families. The NPO appealed to the local community with this exciting and innovative fundraising idea to help raise funds for various ongoing respite and outreach programmes. Judging by the cheerful faces at the event, it was a roaring success.

Tickets were sold at R300 each, with a 2-for-1 special on the compelling game. After expenses were taken into account, a grand total of R13 902 was collected. These funds will be beneficial in purchasing specialised wheelchairs and offer respite care for families. Wheelchairs for individuals living with disabilities can cost more than R2000 each.

Care4u2 is grateful to the entire board and their spouses, the volunteers, families, friends and colleagues who participated in the event, as well as all the generous sponsors. The fundraiser also provided a platform for the organisation to promote their respite-care services for parents and caregivers, and give special-needs children opportunities to further their skills in a work environment.

For more information on Care4u2.Respite.Outreach, please email Dr. Zafreen Valli or Zaidah Goosein on info@care4u2.co.za or visit their website

Caring Women’s Forum Hosts Cancer Fundraising Brunch

Cancer doesn’t just affect the life of the patient, it’s far-reaching consequences also tragically ripple across the hearts, lives and emotions of family and loved ones. September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, bringing attention to the fact that over 300 000 children across 100 countries are diagnosed with cancer each year. Around 80% of child cancer patients come from low- and middle-income homes, and don’t have access to proper medical care. Most sufferers and their families can barely afford the exorbitant fees required for ongoing treatment, medication and visits to specialists.

 

While the cost of treatments for patients continues to rise, the Caring Women’s Forum (CWF) intervened by hosting a fundraiser to help cover expenses. The women-led community-based NGO organised a fundraising brunch to create awareness around this critical topic.

The Parisian-inspired brunch was held on 15 September 2018, when dynamic speakers and generous community members – brought together by their compassion and solidity of purpose – were treated to a delectable spread.

This ‘ladies only’ event was held at much-loved halaal eatery, Ozzy’s Kitchen in Wynberg, Johannesburg. First National Bank and Islamic Relief SA charitably sponsored the full amount of every ticket paid to the cause. Amka also generously contributed towards the event. All proceeds will be donated towards cancer organisations that specifically aid individuals who are afflicted by cancer.

The event was compèred by Akila Mayet and featured an emotionally moving talk by guest speaker and cancer survivor Asima Moosa, as well as Tasneem Khan, who sadly lost her mother to the disease. Both ladies bravely shared their own journeys while on the podium, and were signifiers of strength and fortitude. Dr Fatima Bhabha also graced the audience with her vast knowledge and experience. Other guest speakers included Nabila Mayet-Cassim, who represented Islamic Relief SA, as well as Martha Nkhwashu from First National Bank.

An impressive amount of R60 000 was raised on the day, and this will surely make a significant mark on the selected charities. Islamic Relief SA recently funded a R150 million state-of-the-art Oncology Unit at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, setting the bar for modern, child-centred healthcare facilities in Africa.

The dedicated CWF team worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the event. The fundraiser wouldn’t have been possible without the kind sponsorship of FNB Islamic Banking and Islamic Relief SA, which believe in the work CWF do and support causes that make a positive impact on lives and communities.

CWF has its own cancer care support group. The funds raised will also be filtered to this worthy cause while a sum will be donated to other cancer organisations in different communities. The money collected will be used for food, medical appointments, medical tests, palliative care, medical equipment and support of cancer patients who cannot afford any of these services. Deserving patients can now look forward to receiving the dedicated care, relief and medical attention that they desperately require.

The Caring Women’s Forum continuously strives in the direction of social upliftment and we admire the commitment and benignity of these special ladies.

 

For more information, please contact Zaheerah Bham-Ismail on zaheerah@innovate.co.za

Emmarentia Sporting Football Club Raises Funds for Underprivileged Players

One of the best ways to unite adolescents from different backgrounds is through sportsmanship. The Emmarentia Sporting Football Club (ESFC) in Johannesburg fosters young players with a passion for soccer, recreation and teamwork. Established in 2010, the community-based football club boasts 250 members from the surrounding areas of Greenside, Linden, Victory Park, Emmarentia and Parkview. A few of these talented players hail from disadvantaged backgrounds and lack the finances required for the club’s monthly fees.

Their enthusiasm and fondness for the game have not gone unnoticed. The coaches at Emmarentia Sporting Football Club recognise the unlimited potential in these children and teens, and aspire to do everything they can to help them stay in the game. ESFC aims to keep kids off the streets and encourages positive interaction through sports. Presently, the U17 and U19 teams are facing the harsh reality of possibly closing down, owing to the fact that these teams are made up of a majority of players who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a result, they are unable to pay the league fees. Therefore, the club collaborated with Texakhana Spur in Rosebank, and various other sponsors to host a fundraising event in aid of the soccer players.

The Spur Shadow Shift Evening took place on 19 August 2018, when avid fans of the sport and club members gathered for a fun and delicious fundraiser. They were intent on getting as many customers through the doors as possible because Texakhana Spur kindly offered to donate a portion of their income made between 6pm and 9pm.

The local community banded their skills, products and services together to arrange a raffle giveaway at the event. A few generous individuals who went out of their way to help the cause were:

  • Muazz Docrat – Emmarentia Sporting Football Club technical manager (Organiser)
  • Nazia Wadee – Miss Earth South Africa 2018 finalist and Miss Teen Commonwealth 2016 (Organiser)
  • Ebrahim Seedat – Fundraiser host
  • Zaheera Bayat – Z B Style and Image Studio (Raffle prize sponsor)
  • Narita Pursad – Tasvir Photography (Photographer for the event and raffle prize sponsor)
  • Amit Parbhucharan – Gandhi Walk Committee member
  • Mohammed Karani – Treasurer
  • Farhad Haffejee – Deputy Chairperson
  • Saffiyah Sarfudien – Club Secretary
  • Hoosein Sarfers – Emmarentia Sporting Football Club head coach
  • Zane Abrahams  – Emmarentia Sporting Football Club chairperson

The exciting raffle giveaway included:

  • Club kits to the value of R500
  • A photoshoot with Tasvir Photography valued at R 1000
  • A vanilla chiffon cake to the value of R500 from 21 Truffles Haute Confectionary
  • A voucher to the value of R1000 from Z B Style & Image Studio

The club’s players and coaches, as well as all the aforementioned patrons volunteered their time to support the cause. The teens assisted by shadowing the waiters, selling raffle tickets and accepting donations. The coaches, along with chairperson Zane Abrahams and head coach Hoosein Saffrudin, honourably drove the fundraiser owing to their love and passion for the beautiful game.

ESFC is grateful for the incredible support they received. The proceeds from the fundraiser will help fund all the sporting needs of the underprivileged players in the club. These future soccer stars will now have the opportunity to continue playing the game they love.

Emmarentia Sporting Football Club encourages all kids – both boys and girls from age 6 – to participate in the sport to break down the race, gender, religious, cultural and socio-economic barriers that may exist in our communities.

The club resides on the belief that “No talented and passionate player should not be afforded the opportunity to play the game they love based on lack of funding. We are dedicated to raising the necessary funds to keep our boys on the field, playing the game they love.”

 

Show your support for their cause by making a cash donation.

Banking details:

Emmarentia Sporting Football Club

Bank: FNB

Branch: Northcliff

Branch no.: 253705

Account: 6225 71 76 3 23

Islamic Relief Raises Funds for Syria at their ‘Living the Legacy’ Benefit Dinner

A successful benefit dinner requires four things: a great host, amazing food, an outstanding guest speaker and a generous audience. Islamic Relief’s ‘Living the Legacy’ fundraising dinner checked all these boxes, making the event a huge triumph in the name of charity.

Pictured from left to right: Humanitarian Habib Malik, Chief Mandlesizwe Mandela, Islamic Relief SA CEO Yusuf Mohamed and Naser Haghamed, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

On 8 December 2017, Islamic Relief South Africa held a benefit dinner titled ‘Living the Legacy’ at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

The dinner was organised to raise funds for afflicted women and children in war-torn Syria, in an attempt to meet their daily needs. Each attendee donated R350 while corporate tables contributed R5000 to the event. Funds raised will go towards providing hampers for the distressed victims of war. A standard hamper for one female is valued at R1500, and contains basic necessities such as toiletries and groceries to last for the duration of a month. Hampers for children are valued at R600 each, and comprise a basic school pack and a month’s supply of food.

From left to right: Islamic Relief CEO Yusuf Mohamed, radio broadcaster Ashraf Garda and humanitarian Habib Malik.

 

MC, Ashraf Garda did a brilliant job of anchoring the event and entertaining the guests. After being educated on how Islamic Relief facilitates the delivery of aid to war-torn countries, nasheed artist, Tariq Uwais Malinga beautifully performed a few melodies.

Esteemed guest and speaker Chief Mandlesizwe Mandela inspired the audience.

Honorary guest speaker, Chief Mandela took to the podium to share the legacy of his late grandfather, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He touched on what an inspirational human being our former president was, mostly because he always stood up for what he believed in. Madiba may not have been of Islamic faith, however, his staunch sense of right and wrong, and his resolute moral compass allowed him to stay clear of the sometimes unprincipled influences that come with money and power. Chief Mandela also mentioned how his grandfather would stand up for the people of tormented countries such as Palestine and Syria. He describes how Nelson Mandela would travel the world to raise funds and awareness about these wars, and even when other leaders at the time wanted to buy his silence or have him turn a blind eye to the victims’ struggles and urged him to break off all ties with the ‘enemies’ of the American state, he would decline their offers and stand for what he believed in.

The level of generosity and solidarity portrayed by the guests was overwhelming with even little children (who accompanied their parents) pledging to help out. The benefit dinner was an eye-opener to the severe struggles faced by the Syrian women and children on a daily basis.

Ending the evening on a lighter note, comedian Joey Rasdien had the crowd in stitches.

CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide, Naser Haghamed addresses the crowd

The success of the event can be attributed to the amazing efforts of the Islamic Relief management and staff, and the generosity of those who supported the event through their attendance and pledges to assist vulnerable women and children who are at the centre of Islamic Relief’s emergency humanitarian efforts. A remarkable total of R1.1 million was raised in one night! This goes to show how much can be achieved when we put our hearts, goodwill and financial contributions together.

 

If you would like to make a contribution towards this worthy cause, please contact Islamic Relief SA on 0800 111 898 or donate online via www.islamic-relief.org.za

Qurtuba Islamic Academy – Cake Sale Fundraiser for Palestine & Syria

While the rest of us were enjoying our morning tea, students from Qurtuba Islamic Academy in Linbro Park were hard at work at their annual Cake Sale Fundraiser in aid of Palestine and Syria.

Yummy baked treats for sale

Held in March 2017, the fundraising event coincided with Israel Apartheid Week. The young and generous souls at Qurtuba Islamic Academy donated various delectable baked goods to raise funds for our brothers and sisters in need, in both Palestine and Syria. The delicious treats were collected and sold at the school, appeasing every child’s sweet tooth!

This event brought attention to the plight in the Middle East and enlightened QIA students on the harsh reality of daily life there, which further ignited their empathy and instilled in them a will to do more to help others in need. Learners also prepared and showcased several presentations, fanning feelings of unity and solicitude among all. It was truly heartwarming for parents and teachers to witness the passion and solidarity that these young learners have shown for the people of Palestine and Syria. 

We stand together for the people of Palestine and Syria

An impressive total of R18 000 was collected, and these funds will be distributed to the beneficiaries through the great efforts of the Jamiatul-Ulama South Africa. All humanitarian aid collected will be used to provide daily necessities to destitute adults, children and families who’ve been affected by the ongoing conflict in the region.

 

Hundreds of balloons, bearing the colours of the Palestinian and Syrian flags, were released at the event as a symbol of hope for freedom and peace in the Middle East. The compassion and altruism these children have shown illustrates the amazing mindsets instilled in them by their teachers and parents.

For more information about the academy and their initiatives, please call the Qurtuba Islamic Academy on 011 608 0527 or email info@qurtuba.co.za