Despite icy cold weather conditions, there was a warm atmosphere at Masjidul Irshaad in Woodlands on Sunday night where the second leg of the 15th annual Ahlan aa Sahlan outreach programme took place. VOC in partnership with Gift of the Givers (GOTG) shared iftar with approximately 800 needy people in the Woodlands area and surrounds, and two busses of people from neighbouring areas such Tafelsig and Heins Park were also brought in to join in the programme. Residents were also eager to help in the recitation of the Khatmal Quran.
GOTG Western Cape manager, Gawa Sayed said they aimed to help as many people as possible due to the great need in Ramadan.
“Although we do this work everyday, in Ramadan there is spirituality with it… there is even more essence to it,” said Sayed.
Residents who need any kind of assistance may approach them through the mosque, as the mosque is the nerve point for food distribution. Sayed said the food provided will always be enough to serve the people at the designated mosque but whatever is left will be distributed by the mosque within the community. GOTG fed residents with four pots of food, soup, bread, fruit, water, dates and something sweet for all the little ones.
At the event, residents expressed their gratitude to organisers.
Woodlands resident Farieda Jones said she was happy the AWS team made the effort to come to the mosque as there are many people who do not even have anything to eat or break their fast with at night.
“I wish it could always happen here in Woodlands but it is not possible as there are thousands of our people who are also in need and also need to be assisted,” said Jones.
Aisha Allenberg said were many people living from hand to mouth in Woodlands and sometimes they are dependent on the food distributed at the mosque.
“Sometimes they will just ask neighbours for assistance so that the children can eat, but we must always be thankful to the Almighty even if some days are dark and we only have a little to eat,” said Allenberg.
Mariam Ganief added: “There are such a lot of people who do not have anything to eat at home and this is perhaps the only time they will eat anything for a few days.”
Meanwhile, chairperson of the masjid, Gamiet Mosavel said that he was honoured to be a part of this initiative and being able to share iftar with the community.
“It has been a privilege to be a part if this as the chairman of the masjied just to see the joy on the faces of those who could have something to eat tonight,” said Mosavel.
The third leg of the AWS programme takes place at Masjid Nasrielah in Belhar extension 18. Any donations can be dropped off at VOC studios in Salt River. VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)