Purple Bandage Brings Warmth to the Homeless of Vereeniging

As temperatures begin to dip and we haul out our heaters from storage for their annual winter exhibition, an estimated 200 000 homeless South Africans roam the streets, searching for warmth and shelter.

The Purple Bandage organisation conducts an annual blanket drive to help warm up the chilly nights for the underprivileged. This year, the ‘Winter Warm Your Heart’ campaign took place in Vereeniging, Gauteng.

The NPO ran a collection drive from 3-15 May 2019. Once the blankets were accumulated, distribution took place on the evening of the 17 May, after Taraweeh Salaah (night prayers during Ramadaan). The Purple Bandage team, along with a few helpful volunteers took to the streets of Vereeniging, hoping to add some hope and warmth to destitute street dwellers.



In total, 116 hampers were given to the homeless people found sleeping out in the cold; in open fields or in front of shops and on pavements in Vereeniging. These men and women usually sleep outside with almost nothing to shield them from the elements. Purple Bandage mentions that this was also a way to show them that there are people who are willing to help and support them.


The Purple Bandage team would like to thank everyone who donated towards this project, as well as their volunteers from Roshnee and Arcon Park – which included women and children – who joined them for the distribution during the late hours of the evening.

The blanket drive is an annual occurrence on Purple Bandage’s winter calendar and each year, a different location or community is chosen as the beneficiary. A warm heart in a cold world is a rare and triumphant asset, one which many homeless folks will be very grateful for this winter.

For more information, please contact Mohammed Ravat on 072 885 2514 or email

The Helpers Bring Warmth to Johannesburg’s Underprivileged

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “None of you can attain complete faith until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself.” (Bukhari)

During the midst of winter, as the icy cold wind blew into Johannesburg from the coast, a team of women in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg joined forces to provide warmth to those in need.

The Helpers, as the ladies call themselves, led a community blanket drive for the underprivileged. The winter chill had set in from the snow-capped mountains in Cape Town and the Drakensberg, sending a biting breeze into the city.

Their target was to raise money for 500 blankets which they exceeded by 280, and an astounding amount of R54 375 was raised in the space of just three weeks. The drive was an amazing achievement and a show of true teamwork between these considerate women.

Blankets were distributed by the ladies to various deserving individuals and institutions in Johannesburg, including: muezzins (men who call people to prayer), people affected by a fire in Groblersdal, HIV patients, a Kliptown orphanage, Al Hudaa Orphanage, and the areas of Du Toit’s Street, Alexandra, Eldorado Park, and Fordsburg. These warm, much-needed coverings were also given to homeless people who are often found begging at traffic lights around the city.

Groceries were also collected by The Helpers for distribution

The Helpers continue to assist people in their areas to the best of their ability in various ways; individual needy cases that are brought to their attention are assessed and each member is usually supported by the rest of the sisterhood in helping the other out.

Members of their WhatsApp group hand out monthly hampers to zakaatable (a form of alms in Islamic law) families and some are also closely linked to Disaster Management in the area, and they often assist residents of Alexandra township after shack fires. The group usually facilitates the collection of food, drinks and basic necessities to get the residents through during these devastating times.

Most recently, they started the ‘Jannah Project’, where individuals are encouraged to give R10 a month or R120 annually, to assist with their ongoing and ad hoc projects throughout the year. For women’s month, the money collected will be used to purchase and distribute sanitary pads to those who can’t afford these basic necessities.

It’s rare to find selfless women like these who dedicate their time, wealth and efforts to assist their communities without glory-seeking strings attached. The group consistently pursues donations to fund the various projects that they run and the many cases which come to their attention.


If you would like to contribute to The Helpers’’ worthy causes, please email them on

To make a financial contribution, their banking details are:

Bank: FNB

Account Name: The Two Lights Foundation

Lillah Account: 62540828839

Zakaat Account: 62540836858

Project Account: 62581568931

Branch Code: 252245

Reference: Zakaat/Lillah – Project Name

Please email a proof of payment to The Helpers to ensure that the donation is allocated accordingly.

Alternatively, make a donation to the Blanket Drive:

Bank: FNB

Account Name: Marlboro Women’s Forum

Lillah Account: 62658984101

Branch: Benmore Gardens

Branch Code: 251255

Reference: Zakaat/Lillah

The QIA Blanket Drive spreads warmth to Realogile High School

As winter lays its icy grip across South Africa, most of us have the luxury of spending hours in front of a heater or under layers of warm, cosy blankets. Not everyone has this comfort when the cold settles in, which is what inspired the QIA (Qurtuba Islamic Academy) Winter Warmth Blanket Drive. Students from this altruistic school in Linbro Park, Johannesburg collected funds last winter in aid of purchasing blankets.

The school wanted to distribute the blankets to the students of Realogile High School which is situated in the neighbouring township, Alexandra. Their aim was to spread warmth and kindness among needy children during the colder season.

Blankets packed and ready to go!

A total of R10 500 was raised which enables QIA to buy 150 blankets. Members of the Outreach Committee lent their time to collecting the funds and packing the blankets. While fundraising is a noble cause in itself, the QIA faculty found that most life lessons are better taught in practice which is why they took their students along to Realogile High School, where they could personally distribute the blankets.

QIA students handing over blankets to learners from Realogile High School

This visit was an eye-opening experience for the QIA learners because they got to witness the conditions in which other less-fortunate children their age live in. As Muslims, it is our duty to care for our neighbours, and this wisdom was imparted upon the Qurtuba Islamic Academy students during this blanket drive.

The Realogile High students were overjoyed when they received the blankets because their winter promised to be a little warmer, thanks to their friends from Qurtuba Islamic Academy.
For more information about the academy and their initiatives, please call the Qurtuba Islamic Academy on 011 608 0527 or email