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Sayed’s Lions Head challenge funds 16 water wells

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“The state of the people’s iman is truly amazing. They really have nothing but they are so appreciative of everything.” So says renowned mixed martial artist, Irshaad ‘White Tiger’ Sayed who recounted his recent visit to some of the most remote villages in Mozambique. The trip formed part of his collaboration with Africa Muslims Agency (AMA), aimed at raising funds for the construction of water wells and boreholes in villages were access to water is scare.

In November 2014, Sayed took part in the White Tiger vs Lions Head Challenge, which saw the former Muay Thai champion summit the famous mountain six times. The initiative helped fund the construction of 16 new water wells in Northern Mozambique, and other isolated and impoverished parts of Africa.

Sayed said he was of the view that all humans need be afford certain rights in their life, amongst them education and access to water. He said the Sadaqatul Jariah aspect of the project appealed to him quite substantially, which proved one of the motivating factors behind his involvement with AMA.

While he said the trip was ‘truly amazing experience’, he lamented the fact that they were somewhat pressed for time, which limited the amount the amount of time they spent in the villages.

“We made our way by 4X4 into these villages. We left at 4am and got to the villages in the afternoon around Thur time. So you can understand how far and isolated they actually are,” he stated.

Regional Director of AMA, Hafez Hassan Choonara said the Lions Head challenge had helped raise the plight of those living in the most hard to access parts of the Africa, many of which had limited or virtually no water supply.

“You find ladies walking plus minus 3 to 4 km each day with buckets on their head to fetch water. So the challenge was to raise awareness to the plight of these communities and rural villages. Alhamdullilah, I think we have done that with the White Tiger vs Lions Head event,” he said.

Apart from the monies raised as part of the challenge, he said a number of donors had since come on board for the water project after hearing about the plight of these in these villages. As for the project itself, he explained that operations were run quite professionally, with teams situated on the ground in various parts of Africa throughout the year.

“These teams send regular feedback to our projects department in Johannesburg of areas that are in need of water. From there obviously we make an appeal out to the community, we raise the funds, and then we construct these water wells and boreholes in Malawi and Mozambique,” he explained, adding that donors would also be given feedback on all relevant info pertaining to the well they funded.

In 2014, AMA were involved in the construction of 600 water wells in Mozambique alone. The organisation has set the target of increasing that to 700 in 2015. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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