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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

Schools in Limpopo Receive Mobile Desks Thanks to Penny Appeal and the TutuDesk Campaign

While children have a natural curiosity and an avidity for gaining knowledge, by giving them the right tools and the best possible learning environment, these will only serve to elevate their education even further.

Humanitarian and welfare organisation, Penny Appeal SA, has established the ‘Education First’ project which aims to give underprivileged learners the means and implements to supplement their studies. The noble campaign is aimed at supplying access to quality education, stationery, school bags, shoes and mobile desks to specifically identified schools which have very limited resources.

During September 2018, Penny Appeal partnered with the Desmond Tutu ‘TutuDesk’ Campaign in order to provide mobile desks to impoverished schools in the Limpopo province. 2000 Desks were distributed across five schools in three localities between 5-6 September 2018.

The deserving schools were selected as recipients as they do not have access to school supplies such as stationery, desks, chairs, etc. Most of the attending students come from destitute backgrounds, and therefore their schools become a central focus of hope and education. On occasion, meals are also provided by the schools.

 

Through this beneficient donation, the students will wholly benefit from being able to write, read and work on the mobile desks. These ergonomic tables come in handy at schools where there are no available writing surfaces or where desks are badly damaged. The mobile units can also be taken home where learners are encouraged to use them for homework, learning and in some cases, it has been known to be used as a table to eat their meals off – as the child’s home may not even have a table.

Thanks to the kind donation from Penny Appeal SA and the TutuDesk Campaign, these children can now improve their learning experience with proper equipment. Penny Appeal’s ‘Education First’ project envisions providing relevant assistance to disadvantaged schools and students that is sustainable. This valuable sponsorship also marks the beginning of the ‘Education First’ project and it’s an excellent way to start. Changing the lives of these learners is the only appreciation that the organisation requires.

In addition, Penny Appeal SA aims to address sanitation and hygiene issues within the supported schools and plans to provide access to sustainable farming that will benefit the youth and curb poverty in the community. The locations identified are in dire need of sanitation facilities, empowerment projects, and solutions to issues such as poverty.

Until these obstacles are resolved, students can look forward to going to school each day and having a special place for each of them to work on. What is merely a small portable table to the rest of us, is in fact, a symbol of promise, progress and aspiration for these kids.

To find out more about Penny Appeal SA’s upcoming ‘Education First’ and health and sanitation projects, email hello@pennyappeal.org.za or call 081 407 2753

 

Cycling for Success – The #Riding4SAeducation Campaign 2018

According to a 2016 study published in the South African Early Childhood Review, around 63% of young South African children live in poverty. This translates to a shocking 3 969 000 impoverished children around the country, with the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo having the highest rates.

Salaamedia and Salaam Foundation make South African education their main priority, seeking to empower young learners and equip them with proper care, academic tools and facilities. Due to the success of their #Riding4SAeducation campaign in 2017, the organisation rallied the support of like-minded NGO’s and individuals to partake in the cycling-based project this year.

The 2018 effort brought several organisations together, including Africa Muslims Agency, Islamic Relief SA, Nyota Collections and Al Ihya Foundation, for the common cause of highlighting the plight of South African learners.

Starting their journey on the 12 of February 2018 in Polokwane, the group of riders visited destitute schools along their route through various towns in the Limpopo and North West provinces. They also took assessments of the different needs within the schools and plan to strategise on if and how they will be able to assist.

One of the most dilapidated schools they visited was Stinkhout Primary, just outside Zeerust in the North West. “The walls of the prefabricated classrooms were rotting. The school’s pit toilets have not been cleaned since late last year, the borehole is non-functional,” said Azhar Vadi of Salaam Foundation. Up to 80 learners were cramped into the classrooms, which also had sagging floors.

The Muslim community of Zeerust has been trying for some time to supply bottles of water to the school, which is situated 15km outside the town. This has however come to an end and the learners are now dependent on a supply from neighbouring farms.

In Lichtenburg, the team visited a school that had an average of 120 learners per classroom. “Situations like this are simply unacceptable. The Department of Education needs to seriously look into what it is doing to ensure that the future of South Africa is secured through the provision of quality education,” said Vadi. “While we can raise some funding through the various towns we pass through, ultimately this is a government function. We need to add pressure on the provincial and national departments to ensure that adequate funding reaches the children of South Africa.”

This year the incredible journey spanned 1160km and ended in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, on the 25 February 2018 with a mountain bike race and family outdoor market.

Salaam Foundation coordinator, Fatima Sookharia, said the event was a great success. “We wanted more people to participate in #Riding4SAeducation. So we hosted the MTB event and despite the rain, we had cyclists, young and old, taking to the hills around Lenasia. As the weather cleared we had a fantastic day all in aid of education in South Africa.”

This remarkable event is now expected to become an annual occurrence, bringing much-needed attention to struggling schools and poverty-stricken learners. We commend all the riders involved, whose long journey has brought hope, care and love to these children, reminding them that they have not been forgotten.

*Special thanks to Azhar Vadi for his collaboration on this article.

For more information or to get involved, please contact Salaamedia on 011 680 0355/081 706 4622 or email info@salaamedia.com

Alternatively, make a donation towards SA education:

Account: Salaam Foundation
Bank: FNB
Account no: 62669147665
Branch: 250737
Reference: Education (lillah/zakaah)

 

Muslim Hands SA Stationery Drive 2018 benefits Cape Flats kids

The start of the new school year is always an exciting time for young children. The idea of seeing friends again after the long summer holiday, exploring a new classroom, meeting teachers and of course, acquiring more knowledge. 

While public schools do supply learning material for students, most don’t provide any stationery. As we know from experience, both these types of academic materials go hand in hand, and learning is impossible without the use of a pen and paper. Stationery costs are annually inflated which makes even the most basic of supplies too expensive for many less fortunate families. 

 

Muslim Hands SA understands the value of education and strives to support young learners from low-income homes in any way possible. They held a stationery drive in January 2018, calling upon the local Capetonian community to donate funds in aid of underprivileged school kids. Donors were more than happy to contribute to this worthy cause and an astounding R80 000 was collected through the Muslim Hands Stationery Drive.

On 21 January 2018, stationery packs were distributed to financially disadvantaged children from the Cape Flats. 500 young beneficiaries began their 2018 school year on the right path, stocked with the required stationery and eager to learn. For many of these bright minds, this will be the only new set of stationery they will receive this year.

The stationery pack for each child included writing books, scissors, a glue stick, flip files, pens, a pencil, ruler and eraser, as well as sellotape.

Items in these handy stationery packs were carefully selected to suit both primary and high school students.

There are few things more heartwarming than seeing the smile of child who is given something this practical – and often taken for granted – and yet they treat it like a luxury.

 

Thanks to the Muslim Hands SA team for continuing to fuel academic opportunities for our country’s youth.

 

For more information on how you can contribute, contact Muslims Hands SA on 021 633 6413 or send an email to mail@muslimhands.org.za