29 Oct 2015

On Wednesday, October 28th 2015, the Honourable Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Senzo Mchunu made a visit to the head office of the Al-Imdaad Foundation in the town of Estcourt in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. The small town was abuzz with the sound of sirens as the premier and his entourage made their appearance as part of a tour of local and district municipalities in the region.

The Al-Imdaad Foundation’s team held a meeting with the premier and other provincial officials in which he was briefed about the foundation’s local and international projects. The Al-Imdaad Foundation has been very active in partnership with KZN’s Operation Sukuma Sakhe poverty eradication programme and the Premier took the opportunity to thank foundation for their continued support. Al-Imdaad Foundation’s Project Co-ordinator in the province, Mr Abed Karrim gave an exposition of the Al-Imdaad Foundation’s activities with which Mr Mchunu was very impressed. At the meeting, the Premier affirmed the willingness of his office to sign an MOU with the Al-Imdaad Foundation to formalise and more closely integrate future activities. He emphasised that the foundation had the full support of the KZN government in its programmes and interventions. Mr Mchunu explained that the KZN government “hopes to change the lives of all those who are on the periphery and whose socio-economic conditions require interventions.” This is a sentiment, which the Al-Imdaad Foundation, in its vision to serve humanity, holds close to heart. After the briefing meeting, the Premier proceeded for a tour of the Al-Imdaad Foundation Community Gardens situated adjacent to the head office in Estcourt. The gardens are a unique organic, permaculture programme that seeks to empower the local community with the knowledge of organic food production in the hope of alleviating poverty. Mr Huyton Watts, chief designer for the garden dazzled with intricate descriptions on the simple but effective cycle of planting and harvesting. He also detailed the process by which a contaminated, infertile piece of fallow land had been rehabilitated using all natural procedures and fertilisers to become a garden of plenty. Mr Mchunu was very impressed by the garden setup and the amazing yields it is able to produce without the use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides. He took the time to personally meet all of the garden staff and offered words of encouragement and support. The Premier also visited the onsite Green Grocer store which sells garden produce to the public to support running costs as well as funding further developments and projects. The meeting was fruitful and the Honourable Premier expressed genuine interest in the Al-Imdaad Foundation’s projects, spending a few hours visiting the garden and with the team. It was a time for networking and building partnerships that will hopefully see the emergence of many more poverty eradication programmes to benefit the communities of the province.
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