With immense social pressures facing Muslim youth today, some youngsters in Cape Town are hoping to steer the negative perceptions of youth by making a small difference in their communities in Ramadan. Through the financial support of family, friends, businesses and the local neighbourhood, these groups of youth are striving for social change.
While there are many Muslim youth organisations with various projects in Ramadan, VOC has handpicked a few youth groups working to feed destitute families during the sacred month of giving. Most of these youth volunteers have raised their own funding and are cooking their own food to provide hot meals and food parcels to underprivileged households.
The Youth of Maitland distributes 120 food parcels every Saturday during Ramadan to different families in various areas. The parcels are given to families in Dunoon, Bonteheuwel, Factreton, Delft, Belhar, Bridgetown and Tafelsig.
“We want to make sure that everyone at iftar time has something on their tables,” says Youth of Maitland co-ordinator Riyaad Peters.
They managed to raise a total of R44 000 from various community members to host three weekly charity drives. Thus far they have purchased 300 pre-packed food hampers from 1 UP Cash & Carry and received corporate sponsorship from Logo Print, A1 Noodles, Yunus Gas, Pixel Perpekt and Mukaddam Distribution. They have also had nine pots of soup and 400 loaves of bread sponsored. Soup and food hampers were distributed in the following areas: Factreton, Maitland, Bonteheuwel, Delft, Hanover Park, Seawings and Retreat.
Currently, YOM are in need of additional funding for their final iftar drive on Sunday. The public are encouraged to sponsor a parcel for R130 each. For more information contact Riyaad Peters on 063 2160 714 or like the organisation’s page on Facebook.
Meanwhile in Bokaap, the Schotschekloof Walmers Rugby Club teamed up with Altius United Cricket Club to cook 17 pots 100 litre pots of akni for impoverished residents across the Cape. Over 50 young players and members of the executive rolled up their sleeves to do the cooking, under the watchful of eye of Boeta Noog Martin. The players started with the cleaning of vegetables and meat on Saturday evening and got cooking bright and early on Sunday morning.
“We had one captain per pot, so the guys knew what to do. We are old hands at cooking big pots of food,” joked Siraj Leggett.
The volunteers split up into different teams and then embarked on distributions in Lavender Hill, Grassy Park, Samora Machel, Woodstock, Mitchells Plain, BoKaap and Strand, finally meeting up Du Noon. More than 3000 people were fed on the day.
“It’s really a great initiative. All our friends pop in and lend their support and it really creates a sense of brotherhood. The older generation of players are happy to see the young players doing something for the community. That’s how we build a strong community,” added Leggett.
Awqaf SA roped in their youth volunteers over the weekend to assist with packing iftar packages for the impoverished and distributing it in the impoverished areas of Mitchell’s Plain, Bontheuwel, Boland, Atlantis, Paarl and Khayelitsha. This year it aimed to provide over 2000 individual iftar meal packs. The food pack is taken to the masjid in the chosen area and the imam is directed to distribute the packages. Last year the organisation distributed 1000 packages.
“We want to uplift the community by eradicating poverty through the distribution of food packages to disadvantaged homes,” says Awqaf SA co-ordinator Thaakir Stegman.
For more information contact the co-ordinator Thaakir Stegman on 071 423 1563.
The Bridging Hearts Foundation is running a Ramadan campaign called Buckets of Joy. It aims to hand out 3500 buckets filled with treats their volunteers have collected to reward children who are fasting for the first time. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the organisation on Twitter. VOC