South African Muslim Charitable Trust Donates R300 000 Library For Rural South Coast Community Centre
Learners at an under-resourced rural school and attendees of the Islamic Dawah Movement’s Musjid and Islamic Community Centre at Mabheleni, on KwaZulu-Natal’s south coast are set to benefit from a new fully-fitted and stocked library, the result of a donation by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT).
The library was unveiled during a recent remote hand-over ceremony, during which SAMCT representative, Mr Gaf Osman, said: “The new facility perfectly complements the centre’s existing activities and is an invaluable extension of services within an otherwise seriously under-resourced rural community.”
The Islamic Dawah Movement (IDM) has, since inception in 1977, grown to become one of the largest Dawah organisations in South and Southern Africa, responsible for education and training, skills development and capacity-building, research, publications and literature, dawah and religious activities and welfare and relief.
Mr Osman stressed the need for social development and education in historically disadvantaged and, especially, rural regions of KwaZulu-Natal.
“A sound education is critical to the development and success of our people and the foundation of education is to be found in books, and the ability to resource and understand those books as a means of gaining knowledge; knowledge which is so vital to becoming a contributing individual in this country’s economy,” he added.
Well-resourced library facilities provide a vital source for knowledge and are considered resources which actively promote peoples’ interest in reading and their independent discovery of new information.
Mr Osman maintained: “Knowledge is a very necessary tool for growth, development and success in life. Knowledge gained through reading and understanding unlocks entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, both of which provide the financial wherewithal for us to enjoy an improved quality of life.”
He indicated that reading, and the knowledge which comes with it, provided a means to escape the poverty trap, but said the reality was that the ability to read, access books and to learn was still denied to so many of South Africa’s young rurally-based people.
“It is for this reason that IDM is to be applauded for its realisation of the need for the introduction of a dedicated and fully-kitted library at this rural centre, at Mabheleni. Above all, IDM deserves to be supported in its quest to bring the gift of knowledge, through books, to those young people who attend the centre on a daily basis, as well as both teachers and learners from a nearby historically disadvantaged school. This is an area with a massive learner population, but an area which has been by-passed, leaving it in desperate need of grassroots education and, especially, literacy. Books remain central to any educational facility and having a diverse library remains core to education,” said Mr Osman.
Many schools and NGO facilities with educational programmes are under-resourced in this regard and many more simply do not have such facilities, in spite of the Department of Education’s reading programme requirements.
Mr Osman added: “Without the knowledge which wide-ranging reading affords, under-developed communities will continue to lack the required levels of understanding and reasoning necessary to develop both young and adult minds. The social, religious and general benefits of literacy are inestimable, but of paramount importance is the fact that by providing people access to books, we open the door to their better ability to communicate.”
He described the IDM as ‘a progressive organisation, committed to changing the educational status quo in rural areas,’ saying it was dedicated to giving learners and adults in deprived areas every opportunity possible to gain the knowledge necessary to enable them to develop.
“We of the SAMCT are very pleased to be in a position to assist in broadening the horizons of young people at the IDM’s Musjid and Islamic Community Centre at Mabheleni, through the donation of this fully-equipped library, collectively valued at R300 000, thus enhancing the centre’s ability to deliver an excellent and relevant service to those it exists to assist,” Mr Osman explained.
The SAMCT was created in 2008 to provide funding, services and other resources for improving the lives of the vulnerable, deprived and disadvantaged. It has successfully delivered sizeable assistance solutions throughout the country, irrespective of race or religion and work to support needy organisations in the fields of health, social development, poverty alleviation and education.
“We are confident that those attending the centre, together with teachers and learners from the neighbouring school will derive great benefit from a whole new world of knowledge through this new community centre library,” he concluded.
For more information about SAMCT or IDM donation of a library building, fixtures, fittings and books, please contact:
Social Responsibility Officer
Tel: 084 506 2280