Another successful Iftaar has been completed at the Al Jaamia Uthmania Masjied in Bonteheuwel as residents came out in their numbers for VOC’S annual Ahlan Wa Sahlan project. The social outreach event travels to different communities and takes place every Sunday during the month of Ramadan.
Team VOC, Gift of the Givers, Community Projects, Ottomans Sport, MJC Youth Desk and Pick n Pay have formed a partnership to provide impoverished Muslims with a hot meal for Iftaar, a spiritual programme at the local mosque and Islamic reading material. In every area that the outreach project has taken place, the dire need amongst residents is plain to see.
Community members who spoke to VOC News on Sunday said Bonteheuwel was faced with rampant unemployment, which has led many youth onto the path of gangsterism and drugs. Daily gang shootings have become the norm for residents, with children severely impacted by the level of violence. Many families are struggling to survive amid the high cost of food and electricity in South Africa.
“Most of the young men and women are without jobs. There are so many teenagers who are single parents….they cannot survive,” said Ruwayda Felix.
Another elderly resident, Ganiefa Noordien, said there’s a feeling of hopelessness in the community.
“We need these kinds of programmes to lift our spirits. Spirituality and Islamic values is something missing in our community,” she lamented.
Secretary of the Al Jaamia Uthmania Masjied Yagyah Canfield said the programme was beautiful as residents united behind something so significant.
The masjid is 55 years old and throughout the years a lot of work has been done in the community in terms of youth development and upliftment.
“We do a lot of programs in the community and we have huge challenges. We depend solely on the funding of Jumuah collections, which provides for the masjid and for trying to provide for those who struggle in the community,” he said
He said the program has restored some faith in the community.
“When VOC offered to have their program at our mosque, we were shocked and very grateful as it meant that our people would be able to benefit from not only the foods provided but also the thikr by our local youth. The program will also help bring unity amongst the residents who has been seeing an increase in crime. A religious program like is of great importance,” he said.
On Sunday 26th May, VOC heads to Masjidul Jama’ah in Primrose Park for the third AWS outreach.
Community members who wish to contribute towards the program can drop off any non-perishable food items, clothing, blankets or anything that would be able to provide comfort to families who are living in dire conditions.
Contact the Voice of the Cape on 021 442 3500 for more information.