KZN based Muslim businessmen, professionals, donors and other humanitarians have joined together to create Muslims For Humanity, an initiative that will support and assist NGOs to reach as many needy people as possible. According to Muslims For Humanity interim coordinator and Willowton Group CEO, Mahomed Zubeir Moosa, Muslims For Humanity will not be “just another” NGO, but rather a donor-led association that will assist NGOs to work together to optimise their resources and become more effective and efficient in the wake of rising challenges sparked by the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Covid19 pandemic will have profound effects on humanity, and, in this regard, the Islamic year of 1441 will forever be remembered as the most impactful year in each of our lives and ultimately leading to a new normal. However, we need to embrace the positives and this has given us the opportunity to not only restart our lives, lifestyles and businesses but also to take cognisance of our surroundings,” he said.
Much of this reflection must include the cold, hard reality that the immediate impact of Covid-19 will lead to a global recession that will potentially be the worst in history. According to many economists, the precarious economic situation in South Africa prior to the March 2020 lockdown will inevitably see the fallout from Covid-19 being far worse than in most other economies.
“Because of the financial challenges that lie ahead, the need for humanitarian aid in South Africa will dramatically increase whilst the availability of donor funding will simultaneously decrease,” Moosa explained.
He acknowledged that Muslim NGOs had been doing some incredible work in the past and, like the Muslim community, frequently helped all communities, faiths, colours and creeds. However, they face a whole new set of challenges.
“When businesses find themselves facing uncertain financial times, they look to re-engineer themselves in order to sustain themselves into the future. As we head into the turbulent times that lie ahead, there is, likewise, a need for various NGOs to possibly re-engineer themselves. Muslims For Humanity is an initiative that will allow for this. We believe that, by cooperating, we can create more synergies and be far more efficient in serving humanity,” he said.
According to Moosa, the association will include donors and Muslim NGOs that share a common purpose of serving humanity in the most efficient way possible. “We have no intention of either replicating the great work currently being undertaken by the many NGOs nor do we intend to be prescriptive to them. We just feel that our resources can be better used when they are pooled together whilst we are all feeling the financial effects of Covid-19.”
The association, which will be based in Durban, is expected to quickly spread across KwaZulu-Natal and ultimately hopes to extend to the whole of South Africa.
By creating a single platform, Muslims For Humanity can achieve economies of scale through adopting a coordinated approach to avoid duplication. It will also be able to stretch donor funding further by using collective buying power and knowledge to achieve synergies and efficiencies and, in turn, benefit the needy.
A more focused approach to alleviating poverty through structured feeding and empowerment programmes will also include investment in information technology to attain the association’s goals in a more efficient manner
Joint Interim Coordinator and COO of we FEED SA (formerly known as Feed the Poor), Zahid Fakey, said that during the seven weeks he had spent in the social welfare space in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, he had noticed a great deal of duplication as well as gaps in services to the needy. He said that Muslims For Humanity would be able to address this “age-old problem” and would enable organisations who shared the same vision and goal to extend their reach through collaboration.
He added that, by introducing corporate skills into the social welfare space, it would be possible to offer sustainable solutions and enable different NGOs to focus on their specific areas of expertise.
Through creating a donor led initiative, we will not only be able to address donors’ concerns but also address areas where responses have, up until now, proved ineffective. That way, we can provide more meaningful solutions. Even though things are going to get much worse, I believe that this will be a winning formula,” he said.
Moulana Muhammad Vanker, interim Ameer of the Shura council of Muslims For Humanity and Imam of the Umhlanga Islamic Society said “to serve humanity is a fundamental ingredient of our Imaan and an important component of our faith. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was asked what is the definition of Imaan? The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said: to desire good for the general masses. This brilliant initiative Muslims For Humanity was born with the same vision to benefit humanity, “commented Moulana Vanker.
A number of NGO’s and community organisations have already committed their participation in Muslims For Humanity, including Jamiatul Ulema KZN, Sunni Jamiatul Ulema, Al Imdaad Foundation, SANZAF, Darul Ihsan and Muslim Relief Alliance PMB to name a few.
Husein Asmal, GM of SANZAF Durban welcomed this initiative and stated, that “it is quoted in the Holy Quran that the best of people are those that are of benefit to people”.
Moulana Ahmed Akoo, Ameer of Muslim Relief Alliance PMB further welcomed this initiative and stated that “rallying together and pooling resources in turbulent times draws the divine help of the Almighty and also forms part of the Sunnah of the blessed Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).”
For any enquiries please log on to our website: www.muslimsforhumanity.org.za
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