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Africa Muslims Agency brings warmth this winter

23 May 2013 | Zaakirah Vadi

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It was the perfect weekend to kick off a winter campaign.

The chill had just about settled in and Africa Muslims Agency (AMA) donated winter packs to various organisations at its Al Furqaan Centre in Finetown.

The packs, which include good quality double blankets, socks, scarves, gloves, hats, soup, and other items assist about 7000 families countrywide.

AMA regional director, Hassen Choonara, explained that this year’s project is an expansion of last year’s initiative. He emphasised though, that there is still a big need to help the very poor during winter, and urged people to open their hearts and donate.

Sheila Joyce Tshabalala runs one of the organisations that has benefitted from the project. As head of the Masisizaneni Community Organisation in Finetown, Tshabalala explains that the winter packs help her patients, who are disabled.

One of her patients, a 28 year old who cannot walk or sit, lies on a mattress at the centre, having been brought with to personally collect a pack.

"You see the clothes that she (the patient) has on, that also was provided by these people (at Al Furqaan). They have assisted in many ways, with the feeding, blankets and an agriculture project," she says.

Africa Muslims Agency’s regional director, Hassen Choonara and caregiver Nonthlantla Mfene help Caroline Mathebula walk. Masisizaneni Community Organisation requests assistance with wheelchairs. Contact Tshabalala on 076 8807 444.

"I used to work with HIV patients, but I found that there was great need to help disabled people here. I go door to door to help patients bath and look after them. I am motivated when I see my patients smile, or they tell me that the food was nice, it makes a difference," she explains, giving a preview into the hard work she does.

Tshabalala’s group was not the not organisation that benefitted from the winter project. Some 35 other organisations received packages at the project launch over the weekend in Gauteng alone, with similar events in other parts of the country. Choonrara says that the campaign will continue into winter.

To donate, a blanket costs R85 and a winter pack amounts to R280. AMA can be reached on 011 834 8685.


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