The holy month of Ramadan is not only a spiritual time of the year for Muslims, but is also the largest distribution month for the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF).
As the cost of living in South Africa continues to rise and with the country’s unemployment rate at a staggering 26.40% for the first quarter of 2015, there is an increased need for social welfare organisations such as SANZAF to assist those in need with basic provisions.
This Ramadan, SANZAF aims to serve Iftar to over 9 000 people daily and an additional 60 000 persons in need over weekends to ensure that they have a nutritious meal to break their fast with.
The South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) in the Western Cape conducted a special project to provide educational equipment and playschool facilities at Siddique Junior Madressa, housed at Siddique Masjid in Elsies River.
This handover makes provision for 120 Learners, between the ages of 1 to 5 at the education centre. The junior school provides employment for nine teachers and provides education to four classes.
SANZAF Education Empowerment and Development (SEED) Coordinator Faeza Govind explained that the Fund will continue providing general assistance to the crèche moving forward. "Our next project of this nature will be undertaken in the Bridgetown area."
Independence and empowerment is a core value for the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) and guests are encouraged to become self employed by using the skills they acquired through the SANZAF Kitchen have been motivated to start their own businesses working from home.
Minara Chamber of Commerce invited SANZAF to partner with them in organising and arranging a flea market to raise funds for the Kwa-Zulu Natal Children's Hospital.
This was an excellent opportunity for SANZAF to participate and contribute to the Children's Hospital programme.
The proceeds of this programme went to the hospital, our guests were able to experience a small business opportunity at the same time.
The South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) Durban encourages parents and children to save the environment through the Chance to Play programme, the initiative is focussed on recycling and reusing goods.
This allows children to play and be occupied, at the same time Chance to Play brings out the talent in children in creating musical instruments.
The programme is ongoing and is aimed at 25 children between the ages of six to thirteen. These minors are taught this musical skill which is adapted to nasheed and the group then perform at local events which included a Women's Day conference at the Queens Park Bowling Club, and the sustainable living festival at the Green Hub, Blue Lagoon.
The South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) this week handed cheques to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and University of the Western Cape (UWC) affording at least 165 students the right to education at these institutions.
The total spend for bursaries in 2014 is R3 718 839 which will allow 384 disadvantaged students in the Western Cape to study in a field of their choice at various tertiary institutions including University of Cape Town (UCT), Stellenbosch University (SUN) as well as the Islamic Peace College of SA (IPSA).
SANZAF's cumulative national education and empowerment spend for 2014 amounts to R15.5 million which will assist up to 1,005 students. In 2013, 550 students benefitted nationally from the bursary programme totalling close to R10 million.
On Monday, SANZAF Western Cape allocated R519 264 to assist 59 students at CPUT and a further R1 058 073 was handed to UWC on Tuesday for 106 beneficiaries.
CPUT – CPUT Director for Advancement Calvin Maseko, CPUT Vice Chancellor Dr Prins Nevhutalu and SANZAF Western Cape Administrator Moulana Sarfaraaz Hamza, SEED Coordinator Faeza Govind
UWC Handover 2, Seen from left to right, Michael Kwatsha Head Financial Aid, UWC Professor Brian O Connell, Rector and Vice Chancellor UWC, Faeza Govind Bursary Coordinator SANZAF, Aneesah Rylands Assistant Bursary Coordinator SANZAF, Ml Sarfaraaz Hamza Administrator Western Cape SANZAF, Asief Mohamed Bursary Champion SANZAF
SANZAF has also set aside R182 437 to UCT for 22 students and a further R248 910 at SUN for 22 students. In addition to this, R233 000 will assist 42 students at IPSA and various tertiary faith-based institutions. Needy students are strongly encouraged to obtain the balance of funding from National Students Financial Assistance Scheme (NSFAS).
The SANZAF Bursary Fund which was established in 1985, forms part of the SANZAF Education Empowerment Development (SEED) Programme.
This initiative aims to facilitate and support marginalised individuals and communities through education and skills development training, starting from early childhood development. SANZAF believes that a tertiary qualification opens doors to a positive future by empowering individuals to aspire to a better quality of life.
According to SANZAF Western Cape Administrator Moulana Sarfaraaz Hamza, a core function of SANZAF is to provide financial support to needy and deserving students in pursuit of a tertiary education. "We recognise that education plays an important role in determining labour market prospects, and as an organisation we have made a concerted effort to be responsive to the needs within communities," said Hamza.
SANZAF is one of the single largest registered Public-Benefit Organisations (PBO) of its kind in South Africa, and one of the largest investors in human resources within the Muslim community.
SANZAF Western Cape Chairperson Moulana Hassim Cassiem said, "The SANZAF projects and programmes are designed to develop those who are communities and at the same time, effectively help in building a more dynamic society."