Marlboro Women’s Forum Annual Bake Sale

“When women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”

This quote by Phylicia Rashad is not only an incredibly powerful statement, it also pays homage to the countless women out there making a difference, in their own special way, every single day.
One such group of incredible women are the Marlboro Women’s Forum.
The MWF is an NGO that has been operational for over 20 years.
Amongst their ongoing projects are their feeding scheme, weekly sandwich delivery to the Alexandra clinic, assisting victims of abuse and working together with disaster management to assist fire and flood victims.

The MWF work closely with other organisations in the North, such as Baitun Khair, The Two Lights Foundation and The South African National Women’s Forum, with their projects as well.
I spent a delightful Saturday morning with this group of energetic and remarkable women at their Bake sale for Syria. The ladies managed to raise R 30 000 which will be used to build shelters for the Syrian refugees.
Well done to all the ladies at MWF, may Allah reward you abundantly for the good work you are doing both locally and abroad.
For more information contact Hasina Bhana 072 363 9571

Colours of Hope Trades Treats for Charity

While the foundation of every charity organisation is built on goodwill and noble intentions, it is ultimately funding that turns these virtuous aspirations into tangible contributions.

Colours of Hope is a humanitarian aid agency that was started by twin sisters Sa’uda and Kaashifa Asmal, who run divisions of Madrasah Ummul Hasanaat (Islamic tuition institution) in Newcastle and Johannesburg. What began as a yearly distribution of Quraans for the needy in 2009, swiftly developed into a fully-fledged philanthropic establishment.

The NPO responds to the needs of the less fortunate and tries to make a difference spiritually, morally, financially and physically. “It is our mission to make life a little better for those in need by doing the best we can, turning hope into reality,” they say.

Most recently, Colours of Hope held a bake sale to collect funds that will serve their many charitable initiatives. These projects run concurrently throughout the year and include: #MyRohingya, the Gaza Water Project, Gift-a-Quraan, Syria Medi-Campaign, Project Palestine and the Colours of Hope Baby Project.

After two weeks of planning and advertising, the fundraiser took place on Saturday, 2 March 2019, at Solly’s Corner (a takeaway café) in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. Service time was between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm, where patrons and passersby purchased delicious baked goods, sweets, savouries and confections, all in the name of charity.

The directors and volunteers of Colours of Hope organisation put in time and effort to ensure the success of the campaign and were able to raise R13 000. Other kind sponsors included Upper Crust Bakery in Lenasia, volunteer Fatima Abraham and Nasima Nalla of the Crosby Ladies Forum.

The proceeds will be used to advance the organisation’s many running projects, as and when needed. These include the Colours of Hope Baby Project, which provide hampers to underprivileged South African mothers-to-be, as well as the establishment of a water well at Yarmouk Primary school in Gaza City.

The #MyRohingya campaign sees Colours of Hope partner with fellow NPO, Lonely Orphans in Bangladesh, whereby sponsors can donate as little as R50 monthly for a year, to feed a family with a supply of rice, lentils, oil and spices.

The Asmal sisters inspire us as they positively impact desolate communities from South Africa to the Middle East. Colours of Hope demonstrate that everything great starts small. 

To assist or donate, please contact Sa’uda Asmal (CEO) or Kaashifa Asmal/Jamal (Chairperson) on 082 886 4604/079 498 3479 or email

Islamic Relief Raises Funds for Syria at their ‘Living the Legacy’ Benefit Dinner

A successful benefit dinner requires four things: a great host, amazing food, an outstanding guest speaker and a generous audience. Islamic Relief’s ‘Living the Legacy’ fundraising dinner checked all these boxes, making the event a huge triumph in the name of charity.

Pictured from left to right: Humanitarian Habib Malik, Chief Mandlesizwe Mandela, Islamic Relief SA CEO Yusuf Mohamed and Naser Haghamed, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

On 8 December 2017, Islamic Relief South Africa held a benefit dinner titled ‘Living the Legacy’ at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

The dinner was organised to raise funds for afflicted women and children in war-torn Syria, in an attempt to meet their daily needs. Each attendee donated R350 while corporate tables contributed R5000 to the event. Funds raised will go towards providing hampers for the distressed victims of war. A standard hamper for one female is valued at R1500, and contains basic necessities such as toiletries and groceries to last for the duration of a month. Hampers for children are valued at R600 each, and comprise a basic school pack and a month’s supply of food.

From left to right: Islamic Relief CEO Yusuf Mohamed, radio broadcaster Ashraf Garda and humanitarian Habib Malik.


MC, Ashraf Garda did a brilliant job of anchoring the event and entertaining the guests. After being educated on how Islamic Relief facilitates the delivery of aid to war-torn countries, nasheed artist, Tariq Uwais Malinga beautifully performed a few melodies.

Esteemed guest and speaker Chief Mandlesizwe Mandela inspired the audience.

Honorary guest speaker, Chief Mandela took to the podium to share the legacy of his late grandfather, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He touched on what an inspirational human being our former president was, mostly because he always stood up for what he believed in. Madiba may not have been of Islamic faith, however, his staunch sense of right and wrong, and his resolute moral compass allowed him to stay clear of the sometimes unprincipled influences that come with money and power. Chief Mandela also mentioned how his grandfather would stand up for the people of tormented countries such as Palestine and Syria. He describes how Nelson Mandela would travel the world to raise funds and awareness about these wars, and even when other leaders at the time wanted to buy his silence or have him turn a blind eye to the victims’ struggles and urged him to break off all ties with the ‘enemies’ of the American state, he would decline their offers and stand for what he believed in.

The level of generosity and solidarity portrayed by the guests was overwhelming with even little children (who accompanied their parents) pledging to help out. The benefit dinner was an eye-opener to the severe struggles faced by the Syrian women and children on a daily basis.

Ending the evening on a lighter note, comedian Joey Rasdien had the crowd in stitches.

CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide, Naser Haghamed addresses the crowd

The success of the event can be attributed to the amazing efforts of the Islamic Relief management and staff, and the generosity of those who supported the event through their attendance and pledges to assist vulnerable women and children who are at the centre of Islamic Relief’s emergency humanitarian efforts. A remarkable total of R1.1 million was raised in one night! This goes to show how much can be achieved when we put our hearts, goodwill and financial contributions together.


If you would like to make a contribution towards this worthy cause, please contact Islamic Relief SA on 0800 111 898 or donate online via

QIA learners spread joy through the Syria Shoebox Project

During Ramadaan, we all enjoy peace and enlightenment, but our brothers and sisters in Syria no longer have the privilege to experience that. Faced with the perils of ongoing war and violence everyday, children of Syria have lost the true essence of what a happy and carefree childhood means.

The students and faculty of Qurtuba Islamic Academy, situated in Linbro Park, Johannesburg, decided that it was only fair that if they were to receive Eid gifts this year, so too should the children of Syria. During May 2017, each student began collecting a special gift for a child of war, as well as a beautifully decorated a shoebox to put it in, hence the name; the Syria Shoebox Project.

QIA students beautifully decorated shoeboxes for Eid gifts

What made this project even more significant is that each learner personally selected the contents of the gift box and lent their creativity to decorating the boxes in colourful gift wrap and trimmings. All the QIA learners hope their gift will bring a smile to the face of a Syrian child, many of whom are orphans.

Shoeboxes being delivered to Al-Quds Foundation

Approximately 105 boxes were collected and then sent to the Al Quds Foundation which will facilitate their delivery to Syria.

These shoeboxes are a symbol of solidarity and hopefulness. The Eid gifts will not only delight the children who receive it, but also remind them of the thoughtfulness and kindness of mankind.

For more information about the academy and their initiatives, please call the Qurtuba Islamic Academy on 011 608 0527 or email

Qurtuba Islamic Academy – Cake Sale Fundraiser for Palestine & Syria

While the rest of us were enjoying our morning tea, students from Qurtuba Islamic Academy in Linbro Park were hard at work at their annual Cake Sale Fundraiser in aid of Palestine and Syria.

Yummy baked treats for sale

Held in March 2017, the fundraising event coincided with Israel Apartheid Week. The young and generous souls at Qurtuba Islamic Academy donated various delectable baked goods to raise funds for our brothers and sisters in need, in both Palestine and Syria. The delicious treats were collected and sold at the school, appeasing every child’s sweet tooth!

This event brought attention to the plight in the Middle East and enlightened QIA students on the harsh reality of daily life there, which further ignited their empathy and instilled in them a will to do more to help others in need. Learners also prepared and showcased several presentations, fanning feelings of unity and solicitude among all. It was truly heartwarming for parents and teachers to witness the passion and solidarity that these young learners have shown for the people of Palestine and Syria. 

We stand together for the people of Palestine and Syria

An impressive total of R18 000 was collected, and these funds will be distributed to the beneficiaries through the great efforts of the Jamiatul-Ulama South Africa. All humanitarian aid collected will be used to provide daily necessities to destitute adults, children and families who’ve been affected by the ongoing conflict in the region.


Hundreds of balloons, bearing the colours of the Palestinian and Syrian flags, were released at the event as a symbol of hope for freedom and peace in the Middle East. The compassion and altruism these children have shown illustrates the amazing mindsets instilled in them by their teachers and parents.

For more information about the academy and their initiatives, please call the Qurtuba Islamic Academy on 011 608 0527 or email