Dar al Shifa (pronounced DarushShifa) means an abode of care and healing.
Due to the dire need in Communities for specialised institutions, such as for the frail and elderly, Awqaf SA has embarked on the development of facilities and the provision of care services to the frail and elderly. These will be branded as Dar al Shifa and overseen by Awqaf SA in cooperation with an Operating Association and a dedicated team of volunteers on the ground.
It is anticipated that the project will be materialised with the support of local and international donors and other Care Partners. Vital is the group of volunteers on the ground (via the Operating Association) who will ensure that each project is well managed and the respective clients / patients/ residents will be cared for in the best physical and emotional/ spiritual environment – an environment where they feel at home and where they enjoy living as a community rather than as inmates of an institution.
Two sites have been donated to Awqaf SA as waqf by generous donors and a third is in process. It is envisaged that one will be based in Lenasia near Johannesburg and the other in Raslouw near Centurion.
The caring of the frail and elderly fall within the ambit of the Department of Social Development. However majority of the existing facilities were created during the apartheid era and are still race based primarily for whites. Many are operated by faith-based groups eg the Methodist Church. The frail and elders in dire straits and in destitute conditions find it extremely difficult to find suitable accommodation and care.
We hope and trust that Dar Al Shifa will be the beginning of responsible and loving caring for our frail and elders irrespective of race, colour or creed. We ask for duas and support. More details will be made available at the appropriate time. Suffice to say that it is envisaged that DarushShifa will be flagship project of Awqaf SA and will operate on Social Enterprise principles.
A special advisor to the project is Dr Kemal Aydin from Turkey. He is a Specialist Gerontologist, and will be visiting South Africa soon as a guest of Awqaf SA. More details will be made available of his South African tour where he will meet communities intending to operate and already operating homes for elders and the frail.