Al-Imdaad FoundationAL-IMDAAD FOUNDATION
10 Jan 2012

"Applauding the Foundation for its sterling efforts in striving to serve poor South Africans, Zuma urged AIF to ensure that its virtuous efforts continued beyond the ECDC. Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashile, who presided over the day’s proceedings, also praised AIF’s efforts."

The scourge of poverty, illiteracy, and inequality is a burden that millions of children across the world fall prey to. Often, this is as a result of being denied the benefits and opportunities that a good education offers. On Saturday, President Jacob Zuma paid tribute to the work don by the Al-Imdaad Foundation in South Africa to make education more accessible and affordable to learners in need. Zuma was one of the many high profiled guests who attened the handing over ceremony of a newly completed state-of-the-art Early Childhood Develoment Centre (ECDC) in Mangaung, Bloemfontein. Similar centres have already been constructed in Escourt (KZN), Ladysmith (KZN) and Vlakfontein (Gauteng). According to AIF spokesperson, Qari Ziyaad Patel, AIF other educational projects include the provision of stationery, the building of crèches and schools, awarding bursaries and scholarships, and implementing teacher training programmes. "This latest ECDC centre takes heed of the alarming levels of poverty within South Africa and is in keeping with the belief that charity begins at home," he said. At the same time, whilst continuing with relief efforts across the globe, AIF also has programmes closer to home that aim to alleviate poverty and improve the lives of fellow South Africans. "Construction of the ECDC in Manguang commenced in 2011, and work continued around the clock to ensure that it would be completed in time for the 2012 schooling year. This particular ECDC has been placed in the township of Batho, a highly impoverished area crippled by high unemployment rates and a lack of community facilities. The centre will benefit more than 140 underprivileged children from the area," Patel said. Applauding the Foundation for its sterling efforts in striving to serve poor South Africans, Zuma urged AIF to ensure that its virtuous efforts continued beyond the ECDC. Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashile, who presided over the day’s proceedings, also praised AIF’s efforts. The ceremony opened with a Qur’anic recital by Qari Ziyaad Patel, who has played an important coordinating role since the inception of the project. Moulana Shabier Ahmed Saloojee, Ameer of the AIF, in addressing the audience and the media, reminded them of the role Muslims have played in attempting to improve the lives of underprivileged South Africans. He emphasised that it was a moral and religious obligation to do so, stating that true happiness will only be felt once these young children pass through the gates of tertiary educational institutions. In concluding the proceedings for the day, Moulana Ahmed Chohan, an AIF trustee, shared an important analogy which summed up the importance of the centre: "If we plan for a year, we plant rice; if we plan for 10 years, we plant a tree; but if we plan for the future, we educate a nation." Courtesy of : VOC This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION, its trustees or team members and volunteers globally.