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Local NGO in “green peace” gesture against gender violence

THREE local schools, Alexander Sinton High, Al Azhar High and Lwazi Primary in Gugulethu, enjoyed tree planting ceremonies to symbolise gender peace and to commemorate Arbor Week, which is celebrated at the beginning of September each year. Awqaf South Africa, an NGO that focuses on sustainable community growth, partnered with the City of Cape Town and the False Bay Nature Reserve, to bring home the importance of environmental awareness, and to also make a symbolic gesture of “green peace” with regards to gender violence. At each school, three Waterbessie trees and one olive tree were planted. The Waterbessie is an indigenous water-loving evergreen tree with waxy leaves, ideal for the high-water table Cape Flats, and grows to an impressive height of 15 metres when mature. The historical olive, which can provide fruit for centuries, was planted at each school as a symbolic gesture of peace, and a living monument against the gender violence currently traumatising the country. “The dove and the olive are partners in peace, and by planting the olive tree we plant hope into the soil. One day the dove will rest in its branches and complete the cycle,” said Mickaeel Collier, Deputy CEO of Awqaf. Joyful Lwazi Primary School learners join City of Cape Town and the False Bay Nature Reserve staff and Awqaf SA staff member for a group photo. Awqaf SA Project Co-ordinater: Hasanain Abdullah addresses the High School learners during the tree planting ceremony. “There is a need to green our centres of education ...

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Mandela embraces the Qurbani

THERE were scenes of joy at Mvezo, the mountainous birthplace of Nelson Mandela and the court of the area’s chiefs Wednesday 14 August 2019, when 10 cows were slaughtered as part of the Islamic Eid ul-Adha festival. The festival remembers Abraham’s sacrifice when his son was replaced by a ram. Called Qurbani, the meat is distributed to poor. Hundreds from the Mvezo community queued up to be given the sacrificial meat under the watchful eye of Inkosi (Chief) Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela.  Content hosted by iono.fm Tasneem Adams filed this report on the Chief Mandla Mandela tour of Mvezo Royal House of Mandela. The cows were donated to the local community of Mvezo, a rural district 40 kms south of Mthatha, by the NGO Awqaf South Africa and the Turkish Diyanet Vakfi as part of their # SharetheCare Qurbani programme.  Speaking to tribal elders, guests and community members, Mandela said that the Transkei had a precious resource – its land – and massive potential. There were 3.2 million cows, 6 million sheep and 7 million goats in the region, and local farmers needed to be empowered in animal husbandry. “An ox, for example, is bought for R2, 000 by a white farmer, fattened for 60 days and then resold for R17, 000. We need to break this cycle. We need to educate our farmers to benefit directly from their own resources,” he said. Mandela also said that aloes, which grew on the hillsides, were an untapped natural resource. Environmentally sustainable methods ...

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Awqaf SA Qurbani goes to the Royal House of Mandela at Mvezo Komkhulu, Nelson Mandela’s birthplace

AWQAF South Africa, in partnership with Turkish NGO Diyanet Vakfi, will be performing Qurbani in six neighbouring states, thirteen underprivileged communities across Southern Africa and at Mvezo Great Place located in Mthatha. Qurbani, an annual devotional sacrifice of livestock whose meat is distributed to the poor, symbolises an Abrahamic tradition at the time of the annual Islamic ‘Eid ul-Adha festival. It coincides with the Hajj, the major pilgrimage, to Mecca. The event commemorated is when the prophet Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Ismail, but at the last moment – as a sign of mercy – was given a big-horned ram to sacrifice instead. A moment of great sadness and pain was transformed into one of great joy and relief. During Awqaf’s #Share the Care Qurbani 2019 programme, over 250 cows and sheep will be slaughtered on the day of ‘Eid (12 August), and the meat distributed to 18, 000 underprivileged families. Some of the recipients only eat meat once a year during Qurbani. This year, Awqaf SA celebrates a moment of enormous historical significance and cultural sharing. On the invitation of Chief Zwelivelile Mandela, a Qurbani will be held at the Royal House of Mandela at Mvezo Komkhulu, Nelson Mandela’s Birthplace, near Mthatha. Mvezo Great PlaceSource: The Guardian An Awqaf SA delegation, headed by its Chairman of Trustees Haroon Kalla, and its CEO Zeinoul Abedien Cajee and Deputy CEO Mickaeel Collier, will witness this historic event as well as representatives from the Muslim Judicial Council and ...

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Tributes for SA Muslim visionary and pioneer Dr. Shawket Thokan

The South African Muslim community is mourning the loss of Dr Shawkat Ali Thokan, a man considered the pioneer of the Islamic movement in South Africa. His death follows a period of illness. Dr Thokan was the driving force behind many of the national organizations in South Africa including Muslim youth movement, SANZAF, Islamic Medical Association and Awqaf SA. Dr Thokan played a pivotal role in the religious, educational and socio-economic progress of the Muslim community and society as a whole.  His contribution to Islamic organisations has transformed the Muslims community and has left a remarkable legacy. “Shawkat, as we fondly called him, was not only co-founder of Awqaf SA but father, mentor, guide, over seer, always positively encouraging and motivating the establishment of institutions within the Muslim community. He stood firmly behind the establishment of Awqaf SA together with a team of dedicated and passionate professionals, businessmen, brothers and sisters,” says Awqaf CEO Zeinoul Abedien Cajee. “At the outset, he provided the patronage and the platform through his Islamic Research Centre for the presentation of the blueprint for the most innovative and visionary institution that would impact not only on the lives of Muslims but also the broader community. And then also going beyond the borders of South Africa to many other countries. The seeds of waqf proliferation were planted deep…the trees never to be uprooted, still standing firm since 2000, still providing fruits, Alhamdulillah.” Combining his medical practice with the demanding challenges of shaping the destiny of young ...

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DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION ENDORSES AWQAF SA SCHOOL BOREHOLES.

The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr. Enver Surty, accompanied Awqaf SA on a visit to Steenbok and Ekwenzeni Primary Schools in Mpumalanga to officiate at the hand-over of boreholes to six schools in the area. The primary schools, Steenbok, Ekwenzeni, Sizimisele, Mbangwane and Ikwekezi, belong to municipalities, which face challenges in supplying running water to the schools. These primary schools, situated close to the Mozambique and Swaziland borders in north-east Mpumalanga, had to end their days as early as 10 am due to potential health threats to learners. Some of the schools, situated in poor areas, even had to buy water, which stretched their already limited resources. The borehole project, commissioned by Awqaf SA and executed by the Crescent of Hope, was kick-started last year when Faizal Essack, a volunteer for both Awqaf SA and Crescent of Hope, said he received a call from local MP, Mr AF (Fish) Mahlalela that the schools were in dire need of reliable water supplies. Two schools, Lindani Primary and Memezela High School, received boreholes with the installation of a water tank and a reticulation system that also pumped the water into the municipal supply. The boreholes ensured that the schools had drinkable water, flushing toilets and irrigation for food gardens. In a follow up to the broader Awqaf SA borehole project, Deputy Minister Surty, addressed traditional leaders, municipal representatives, school principals and MP Mr AF (Fish) Mahlalela, saying that in the past year the state had built 600 schools, and had a ...

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