Shortly after ILM-SA was founded, we were approached for assistance by a group of socio-economically disadvantaged sisters who had accepted Islam years before meeting us. They were running afternoon madrasahs at their homes, teaching underprivileged children the basics of Islam. The parents of these children, although not Muslim, were happy with this as it kept them away from elements on the streets. Providing support to these madrasahs has since become one of our core activities.
We currently support four madrasahs; in Malukazi (Aapa Fathima Shibe); Trenance Park (Aapa Aneesa Gwantisheni); and a combined madrasah in Folweni (Aapa Amina Madlala and Aapa Khadija Madlala).
We support the madrasahs – which are in total made up of 82 children – by:
- Paying each teacher a monthly salary.
- Providing text books.
- Sending a member of our staff who is an ‘aalim to each madrasah on a weekly basis to assist the teachers and their learners.
- Hosting the Eid with a Difference programme for them annually (see page ).
- Providing moral support to the teachers; by constantly speaking to them about their concerns, needs and objectives, and trying to facilitate a way forward in this regard.
We provide various other forms of assistance, including nutritional support (e.g. a fortnightly hot meal, Ramadaan food hampers, etc.) when possible; school fees for the teachers’ children when required, as well as recycled clothing that is in good condition, when available.
Trenance Park madrasah upgrade
Aapa Aneesa Gwantisheni has been running her madrasah outdoors since its inception. This year we provided her with a fully-furnished wendy house, including a toilet and a basin, as well as a crèche starter kit (stationery, educational toys, breakfast cereal, milk, blankets and mattresses). Aapa Aneesa is now using the wendy house to provide a much-needed crèche service to her community during the mornings. In the afternoons, she uses the wendy house as a madrasah.
Our vision is to provide each teacher with the necessary resources for teaching, as well as to further empower her and her learners outside the context of madrasah classes by facilitating access to further education and income-earning opportunities.
Born Bafunani Gladys Shibe, Aapa Khadija converted to Islam in 1998, after talking to a Muslim, during a supermarket errand. She then undertook a never-ending journey of studying – first under an individual, then at the Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF) as well as IEOSA, and also attended classes in Isipingo. She was also a regular part of our teacher training programme. Aapa taught dozens of children and adults in Malukazi, Nsimbini, Isipingo as well as in Phezukomkona which was her place of birth. This entailed hours of travel on her part, which she happily embraced. Aapa Khadija passed away in January this year. She is survived by her daughter Fathima, who now runs her madrasah in Malukazi, her sons, Abdullah and Mutallib and her grandchildren, Zakariyah and Zulekha. Aapa may no longer be with us but she will in sha Allah always be remembered for her dedicated pursuit of seeking and imparting knowledge, her humility and last, but not least, the constant smile on her face. Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raji’oon.