17 January 2019 / 10 Jamad-Ul-Awwal 1440
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Various research reports reveal that, the healthcare system of the Eastern Cape Province has been teetering on the edge of complete collapse for years. Horror stories abound of dysfunctional hospitals, run down clinics, over stretched nurses, medicine shortages and ambulances that never arrive. The healthcare system is not functioning in a way that is ordinarily understood as operational all at the expense of people’s rights, dignity and lives.
The most disadvantaged members of our communities are the ones who suffer the most from the above conditions. SANZAF initiated a Health & Wellness Day a few years ago and this has spurred a number of other similar initiates which SANZAF now partners or participates in , namely the Al Ansaar Health Clinic in Bell Road and the recent My Youth Community Project which invited SANZAF to bring a number of our beneficiaries to receive the free healthcare services which were rendered at this event. This initiative was held in conjunction with the provincial department of public health, Clicks Pharmacy, Smile – Hub dental surgery, Path care, Diabetes South Africa and various other local health care service providers to host the Public Medical Day. The health clinic at the Malabar community Centre from 09.00am until 01.pm. Medical practitioners from the Nelson Mandela Metro voluntarily provided their professional services to members of the community who struggle to access quality health care service. As a result of the overburdened health system and long delays at public health facilities a number of residents do not always have access to such health facilities.
The health practitioners involved in the Public Health Day rendered free medical checkups for various illnesses such as tests for sugar, blood, cholesterol, vision and hypertension. Other health services that were provided to the community members were advice on weight loss, pain management and free medicine. Medical professionals who took part in this initiative ranged from GP`s, Dentists, Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Chiropractors and homeopaths.
Sanzaf invited 70 of its recipients to benefit from the various health care services provided at the Public Health Day event. The beneficiaries invited by Sanzaf to this initiative were all residents of the Nelson Mandela Metro’s Kwazakhele, Motherwell, New Brighton areas as well as some of the learners from the Universal Islamic Cultural Trust’s (UICT) Madressah.
Sanzaf through it’s collaboration with various organisation and It’s own initiatives ensures access to such Public Medical initiatives takes place annually, ensuring that residents from under resourced communities are not denied the basic right of access to quality health care.
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As the month of Muharram heralds the dawn of the new Islamic year, so too it is a special time for Muslims around the world. Just as it is associated with giving, taking stock of ourselves and where we are going spiritually it is also a time of joy and mercy. The month of Muharram is one of the four sacred months which is ushered in by fasting especially the first ten days, which are resplendent with spiritual reward. In line with the hadith by Tabarani and Al-Bayhaqi in which it reported that Nabee Muhammad (SAW) said: “One who generously spends on his family on the 10th of Muharram (day of Ashura), Allah will be generous on him for the entire year.” SANZAF reached out to our Madrassahs in celebrating the significance of this special month by distributing 30 food packs to four of the Madressah’s on 20 and 21st September 2018. Learners had the opportunity of enjoying some sandwiches, fruit and party packs. The Madressah`s benefitting from this initiative are based in Marikana, Motherwell, Kwazakhele and New Brighton. The event forms part of a number of initiatives implemented annually by the Port Elizabeth office of SANZAF in celebration of the new Islamic year.
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In July 2018 the department of social development in conjunction with Nicro initiated a program titled economic opportunities program. This program sought to expose ex-offenders to opportunities that will enable them to empower themselves economically. The department of social development discovered that ex-offenders struggle to find employment or create employment opportunities for themselves after being released from prison due to their criminal records. Lack of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities causes anger and frustration, which escalates the possibility of ex-offenders resorting to crime to support themselves. This then prompted the department of social development and Nicro to initiate the economic opportunities program to address this issue. The program is lead by Thamsanqa Methule a social worker employed by Nicro. It`s first induction was on 10 July 2018 at the New Law Court conference room in Govan Mbeki Avenue. Eight ex-offenders attended the presentation.
These presentations were intended to expose ex-offenders to opportunities available for them. Such opportunities include skills development, entrepreneurial training and sources of funding for small businesses. The presentations took place over three days from 10 until 12 July 2018. Before the first presentation Nicro invited the South African National Zakah Fund to participate in the program. SANZAF then invited one of the eight ex-offenders which attended the induction to be part of the program. On the second presentation the manager of ABSA`s Entrepreneurial Development Centre Gcinashe Vambe was the guest speaker. Her presentation focused on how to start and manage a small business, how to apply for funding if you need capital to start a small business and training courses offered by ABSA to entrepreneurs starting a small business. On the third presentation Sonwabo from the National Youth Development Agency was the guest speaker. In his presentation he advised ex-offenders on types of businesses they should consider should they wish to take on an entrepreneurial rout. He informed the ex-offenders about the criteria used by the NYDA to assess funding credibility.
Sonwabo offered to guide ex-offenders through their application process should they apply to the NYDA for start up capital. On the third presentation only five of the eight ex-offenders were present. They discussed possible ways of utilising the opportunities that were presented to them. The ex-offenders decided on sharing knowledge amongst each other in order to exchange skills and share work opportunities that arise. The leader of the program Thamsanqa Methule suggested meeting on a monthly basis with members committed to the program to monitor the extent of progress made. Thamsanqa committed to providing guidance, support and assistance to the members of the program wherever necessary. The ex-offenders committed to the programme and agreed to schedule monthly meetings with Thamsanqa for assistance, advice and report on progress of the endeavours they decided to pursue after completing the program.