19 Oct 2010

"20 million affected by devastating floods and the Al –Imdaad Foundation was the first South African NGO to respond to the Pakistan floods in late July 2010"

FIRST SA NGO TO RESPOND TO THE PAKISTAN FLOODS 20 million affected by devastating floods and the Al –Imdaad Foundation was the first South African NGO to respond to the Pakistan floods in late July 2010. The Al-Imdaad Foundation (AIF) is a Proudly South African NGO that seeks to help people in South Africa and around the world by distributing food parcels and first aid help to orphans, the disabled and those that are affected by natural disasters. “This month of Ramadan has been a noteworthy one for us at the Al-Imdaad Foundation. Generally, Ramadan is a busy time for most Muslim humanitarian agencies across the Muslim world. This Ramadan in particular was a unique one in the sense that crucial relief operations had to be carried out in flood stricken Pakistan. The floods in Pakistan were truly devastating and the AIF team had to work assiduously in the month of Ramadan to make sure that your funds had reached the neediest of the flood victims”, said National Coordinator of the AIF, Yacoob Vahed. Proudly South African was proud to hear that one of our members were among the first to assist the Pakistan nation during the unexpected floods that left thousands of people homeless and injured. We decided to interview and share the journey of the AIF and showcase the great work that they are doing. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ When was the foundation formed and why? The Al-Imdaad Foundation was formed in 2003 with its main objective being to serve humanity, irrespective of creed, color, culture, religion or geographical boundaries. It’s motto reads “striving to serve humanity” and its operations gyrate around this noble concept. Its central focus is to assist in times of distress, especially disasters, both man-made and natural. The Al-Imdaad Foundation is known for its quick response to humanitarian emergencies across the globe and features alongside some of the leading international aid agencies in the humanitarian domain. Thus far, the Al-Imdaad Foundation has assisted impoverished and affected communities in over 32 countries across the globe, including the infamous Tsunami of 2004, the Gaza crises of 2009 as well as the Haitian Earthquake earlier this year. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How many people work for this Foundation? The staff of the Foundation enumerates a small number. Many are surprised with the output level achieved by an organisation which comprises so few staff. The Foundation relies deeply upon the services of volunteers locally and internationally. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As an NGO how do you secure funding? Our funding is primarily from the goodwill and kind gestures of donors in the public. The Al-Imdaad Foundation maintains a great level of transparency and accountability and therefore has managed to gain the confidence of the donor. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Being the first South African NGO to respond to the Pakistan flood how does that make you feel? This is only a favour from the Almighty and we thank Him for allowing us the opportunity to be the first to render aid in times of desperation. The first few moments after a disaster are crucial and this is when relief aid is mainly required. We are deeply satisfied to have rendered aid to the victims of the flood when other NGO involvement was minimal. In disaster management, time is always of the essence. The quicker you respond, the more lives you save. Ours has always been a PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN response portraying the humanity of our rainbow nation to the international community. We also thank the Ministry of International Relations and Co-Operation, the South African Reserve Bank, The Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) and the South African National Disaster Management Centre for helping us facilitate humanitarian aid to nations in need. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Helping people may not be an easy thing as they have different needs, how do you cope with such challenges and what motivates you to keep going on? The dynamics of humanitarian aid change from disaster to disaster and from place to place. The needs of people such as diets etc. are always varying. This notion impacts our operations. The Al-Imdaad Foundation has devised protocols and procedures to assess the situation at hand and to facilitate the correct aid to the affected areas. There are many challenges in the humanitarian arena, but one quality more than any other inspires you to do more - PASSION. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ You mentioned that the month of Ramadan has been noteworthy for Al-Imdaad, how does it differ from other months? The month of Ramadan is indeed a very busy time for certain faith based NGO’s. This is a time when most Muslims opt to donate their charities and fulfill their religious obligations. The flooding in Pakistan also occurred in the Holy month of Ramadan. This compounded our work load in two facets; dealing with the donations coming through and at the same token, facilitating much needed humanitarian aid to the flood stricken areas in Pakistan. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Are their any future plans for your organisation if yes what are they? The Al-Imdaad Foundation plans to extend its humanitarian portfolio across the globe whilst simultaneously portraying the compassion of all South Africans. With this vision in mind, we have already established three international branch offices in Australia, Indonesia and Jordan and the registration of offices in the United Kingdom and Pakistan are well underway. As the organisation grows, we aim to increase our capacity so that more can be done to assist those in need. The Foundation is at an advanced staged of establishing itself across many countries in Africa and is already registered on the UN NGO Database. The Foundation has already complied with the selection criteria for UN consultative status and will be applying soon to the United Nations Economic and Social Council . The Al-Imdaad Foundation is the only South African NGO to be a signatory to the code of conduct of the IFRC in Geneva. For further enquiries about the AL-IMDAAD FOUNDATION and how you can assist those in need visit , e-mail or call 0861 786 243 / 011 830 2004. Writer: Sinovuyo Mafanya
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