In this fast-paced world we live in, it is without a doubt that everyone seems too occupied to help those less fortunate, however, this isn’t the case for a concerned group of youths who collectively go by the name, Muslim Students Association (MSA). While being fortunate enough to receive tertiary education at one of Joburg’s most prestigious institutions, they find the time between lecture schedules and study sessions to give their time and effort to help others.
The MSA at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) was established in 2001. This dynamic group of young Muslims meet at the jamaat khana (place of worship) on campus to share ideas on how to help the underprivileged. The word spread to students at Auckland Park’s Kingsway Campus and the Doornfontein Campus, and it didn’t take long before they all began working together towards making a difference.
The teams work hand in hand and use various methods to raise funds, such as door-to-door collections, acquiring corporate social responsibility sponsorships from large companies, collecting donation boxes after jummah salaah (Friday prayers), and asking family and friends to donate generously.
“With the funds that have been collected, items are purchased from wholesalers at a discounted price,” says coordinator, Muhammed Asvat. “Blankets are purchased from Moosa Blankets in Johannesburg, maize meal and baked beans are bought from Yarona Cash and Carry (who also sponsor a great deal of items), while gloves, beanies, socks, scarfs and ear warmers were kindly donated.”
This year, the team successfully managed to raise R27 500, which was enough to assemble 250 hampers. Once the items were purchased, they were delivered to the Auckland Park Campus, where young MSA members proceeded with packing the hampers.
Each year, hampers are delivered to people who need them the most. In 2017 and 2018, the Benoni Muslim Jamaat (BMJ) were recipients of the hampers. They had contacted the MSA for assistance because they house a few needy students at their madrassah (school). On the 18th of May 2018, after jummah salaah (Friday prayers), the MSA team along with many other students used their own vehicles to transport the goods to their destination in Benoni.
To culminate the completion and success of this year’s winter warmth drive, a nominated member of the MSA rendered a speech at their assembly and the congregation received a few words of advice from respected BMJ principal, Moulana Ayyub Kachwee.
It’s always heart-warming to see the youth take time off from their studies and social activities to give back to less-fortunate communities. We hope their kindness and generosity will inspire even more student organisations to follow suit.
For more information on MSA UJ projects, please contact Muhammed Asvat on 079 152 7296.