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The Helpers Bring Warmth to Johannesburg’s Underprivileged

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “None of you can attain complete faith until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself.” (Bukhari)

During the midst of winter, as the icy cold wind blew into Johannesburg from the coast, a team of women in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg joined forces to provide warmth to those in need.

The Helpers, as the ladies call themselves, led a community blanket drive for the underprivileged. The winter chill had set in from the snow-capped mountains in Cape Town and the Drakensberg, sending a biting breeze into the city.

Their target was to raise money for 500 blankets which they exceeded by 280, and an astounding amount of R54 375 was raised in the space of just three weeks. The drive was an amazing achievement and a show of true teamwork between these considerate women.

Blankets were distributed by the ladies to various deserving individuals and institutions in Johannesburg, including: muezzins (men who call people to prayer), people affected by a fire in Groblersdal, HIV patients, a Kliptown orphanage, Al Hudaa Orphanage, and the areas of Du Toit’s Street, Alexandra, Eldorado Park, and Fordsburg. These warm, much-needed coverings were also given to homeless people who are often found begging at traffic lights around the city.

Groceries were also collected by The Helpers for distribution

The Helpers continue to assist people in their areas to the best of their ability in various ways; individual needy cases that are brought to their attention are assessed and each member is usually supported by the rest of the sisterhood in helping the other out.

Members of their WhatsApp group hand out monthly hampers to zakaatable (a form of alms in Islamic law) families and some are also closely linked to Disaster Management in the area, and they often assist residents of Alexandra township after shack fires. The group usually facilitates the collection of food, drinks and basic necessities to get the residents through during these devastating times.

Most recently, they started the ‘Jannah Project’, where individuals are encouraged to give R10 a month or R120 annually, to assist with their ongoing and ad hoc projects throughout the year. For women’s month, the money collected will be used to purchase and distribute sanitary pads to those who can’t afford these basic necessities.

It’s rare to find selfless women like these who dedicate their time, wealth and efforts to assist their communities without glory-seeking strings attached. The group consistently pursues donations to fund the various projects that they run and the many cases which come to their attention.

 

If you would like to contribute to The Helpers’’ worthy causes, please email them on 786helpers@gmail.com

To make a financial contribution, their banking details are:

Bank: FNB

Account Name: The Two Lights Foundation

Lillah Account: 62540828839

Zakaat Account: 62540836858

Project Account: 62581568931

Branch Code: 252245

Reference: Zakaat/Lillah – Project Name

Please email a proof of payment to The Helpers to ensure that the donation is allocated accordingly.

Alternatively, make a donation to the Blanket Drive:

Bank: FNB

Account Name: Marlboro Women’s Forum

Lillah Account: 62658984101

Branch: Benmore Gardens

Branch Code: 251255

Reference: Zakaat/Lillah

The Helpers Visit the Weiners Old Age Home in Alexandra

The aged in our society are often overlooked and their valuable contributions have been long forgotten. A group of Muslimahs called ‘The Helpers‘ aim to keep the spirit of the elderly aflame by visiting old age homes (and other locations), offering their services and time wherever needed.

On 2 November 2017, The Helpers, who are from the greater Sandton area, paid a visit to Weiners Old Age Home in Alexandra, Johannesburg, where they sought out to uplift these senior citizens and spread a message of love, compassion and remembrance. The ladies held a tea party for the +100 occupants, and provided delicious snacks and drinks.

The Helpers find that it’s beneficial for Muslims to go out and assist the underprivileged, not only as a way to illustrate the beauty and kindness Islam propagates, but also to bring communities together. People from different cultures and backgrounds can bond over a cup of tea, share interesting life stories and learn about each other’s customs and traditions. Our older citizens have a wealth of knowledge to share and it’s important for us to try and assimilate as much of it as we can.

Sheikh Salama also accompanied The Helpers to the home, where he extended an invitation to Islam and assisted all those interested in reverting. Inspired by his phenomenal words, a few of the caretakers and elderly residents decided to accept Islam at the end of the visit.

A little love, time and affection goes a long way. Boosting the morale of our retirees and allowing them to feel like they’re still an important part of our communities is a gift of incalculable worth. 

For more information about The Helpers and Dawah Forum, please contact Hafiz Fareed on 083 564 7929 or email hfzfrd@gmail.com