For Immediate Release: Wednesday 27 June 2018


Exceptional demand for baking courses offered to Port Elizabeth’s disadvantaged following the 2017 creation of a new R283 000 baking school at the Al Fidaa Foundation has prompted a R572 000 expansion of the facility by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT).

Commenting on its second capital injection, SAMCT representative, Mr Gaf Osman, said: ” That the baking school has so rapidly flourished, becoming an overnight success, is most gratifying and is clearly indicative of the fact that the services it was created to offer were sorely needed by the surrounding community, enabling them to learn new skills and, critically, provide the opportunity for entrepreneurial development in an under-developed and under-resourced area.”

The baking school was launched in August last year and demand rapidly outstripped the facility’s ability to assist students eager to learn skills which could lead to their entrepreneurial development as contributors to the home industry environment.

“We, of the SAMCT, could see the potential of such a venture and were, accordingly, more than willing to make available the original R283 000 required to assist the Al Fidaa Foundation develop its baking school. What we could not have foreseen was just how quickly the school would run out of space to accommodate demand for its baking skills courses; courses which were designed to promote a home industry escape from poverty for participants,” Mr Osman added.

The Al Fidaa Foundation was established in 2008 with the intention of assisting the Eastern Cape’s impoverished communities. Feeding the poor through many soup kitchens, hospitals and clinics in Port Elizabeth is a service they offer on an ongoing basis. The Foundation offers courses in sewing, computer literacy various other training courses. Its White Door Centre offers counselling for victims of violence, abuse and crime. It is also involved in numerous social welfare activities in the Eastern Cape.

Mr Osman said: “The Foundation is to be roundly applauded for its broad approach to meeting and beating the socio-economic challenges communities face here. With its new extension, I am confident that the Al Fidaa Foundation’s baking school will now take pride of place alongside the organisation’s complementary services.”
The Eastern Cape suffers from high unemployment and any effort to address socio-economic challenges provides a positive step forward for the region’s people.

“Endemic poverty is the unfortunate legacy of this country’s apartheid era and is, regrettably, something which is going to take many years to eradicate, in spite of the best efforts of a host of bodies, such as the Al Fidaa Foundation, working tirelessly to offer the historically disadvantaged paths out of the poverty trap. By teaching the unskilled, the unemployed and the impoverished new abilities is to empower them in transforming their lives, uplifting them to become contributors to the economy, rather than a drain on public resources,” said Mr Osman.
He added that the SAMCT recognised that funding remains a challenge for organisations such as the Al Fidaa Foundation. “We are, therefore, pleased to have been able to assist the Foundation to extend its ability to serve more people through our R572 000 donation for the baking school extension, the provision of important student baking starter kits and the creation of a new sewing and computer room, lost as a result of the expansion of the baking school area.”

Established in 2008, the SAMCT works to provide funding, services and other resources for numerous deserving organisations, as well as the improvement of the lives of South Africa’s deprived, poverty-stricken and historically disadvantaged communities. Since inception, it has delivered significant financial assistance throughout the country, irrespective of race or religion.

The Al Fidaa Foundation’s new and improved baking school is poised now to serve increased numbers of, specifically, the unemployed and unskilled, providing comprehensive free courses, skilling learners to bake items which will create for them an immediate and sustainable income, using equipment as basic as a two-plate stove.


For more information about SAMCT or its Baking School extension donation, please contact:
Rasheeda Motala
Social Responsibility Co-ordinator Tel: 084 506 2280
Email: samct@samct.co.za

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