Hospital Welfare and Muslim Educational Movement
The diverse set of portfolios of the Hospital Welfare and Muslim Educational Movement (HWMEM) has evolved since 1942 but continued in a relentless manner by the organization.These include:
- Education - Assisting students in pursuance of studies at the tertiary level financially. Loan bursaries are awarded to deserving students irrespective of race, colour, creed or gender. Donors are all from the so-called “black” or disadvantaged community including small business, professionals, community organizations & family trusts.
- Hospital Kitchen inspections - Seeing to the dietary needs of the Muslim patients at most of the major hospitals
- Madrassatul Khayr - Administering a School for the Visually Impaired.
- Mortuary Services - Assisting families with socio-legal, burial arrangements and pauper burials.
- Social Welfare and Outreach programs - Assisting families in need of social welfare help eg Wheelchair distribution, Winter Warmth programs, Soup kitchens. Food distribution, Ramadaan Ifthaar programs etc.
The HWMEM plays a significant role within the under-privileged and deserving members of society. All the above activities and achievements have only been made been possible through the continuous help and support of the public, donors, sponsors, and business houses.
The HWMEM also networks with and supports other organisations having similar aims and objects as the ultimate aim is to service the community.
Within the theme of “Education before Liberation”, the Hospital Welfare and Muslim Educational Movement (HWMEM), initiated the Education Fund in the late 1960’s to fight poverty in South Africa. The objective was to empower determined and able but financially needy young people with opportunities for further education and play a meaningful role within a changing South Africa. In its first year the Fund dispensed R720, the amount increasing gradually in the early years but growing phenomenally to a regular dispensation running into a few million rand.
This phenomenal growth experienced by the HWMEM’s bursary fund is a clear reflection of the organization’s as well as the donor’s recognition of the dire need for funds by students from the lower income groups in pursuance of studies at tertiary institutions. These Loan bursaries are awarded to deserving students irrespective of race, colour, creed or gender.
There is no doubt as to the benefits of higher education as it opens up so many more opportunities and plays a vital role not only in the development of a person’s life, but in the development of a nation. Yet in many cases the obstacles to aspiring students may seem overwhelming: low levels of income, language barriers, increasingly escalating costs of education, to name but a few - are all viewed as deterring factors.
In recent years, an increasing number of matriculants find themselves in a situation in which they are eager to further their studies at the tertiary level but struggle to find the funding to finance their studies. Generally the cost of a tertiary education is relatively high and escalating every year, which makes it very difficult and increasingly challenging for lower income families to afford. In addition to the high cost of tuition fees there are the added costs of study materials, transport, books, accommodation and the expenses of university life, literally doubling up the cost of tertiary education. In South Africa approximately 30% of students discontinue their studies because of financial reasons.
Therefore, there is an opportunity to seek an interest-free loan bursary through the HWMEM.
How to Apply for a Bursary:
- A letter of motivation
- An application form
- Proof of Registration at a tertiary institution
- A certified copy of your identity document
- A certified copy of your matriculation results
- An official copy of the Academic Records of your year/s of study at the tertiary level
- Proof/statement of how you were financed during your year of study at the tertiary level
- Two testimonials and any other documents in support of your application
- Details - Full names, residential addresses, contact telephone numbers - home, work and cellphone, your relation to them etc. of two next of kin not living with you.
- A statement detailing your family background. List the family members in the household and whether they are working, studying or unemployed.
- lf your parent/s are deceased, disabled, unemployed, etc - Provide official documentary evidence of such.
- An income statement - salary advice of all income bearers in the family.
- Utility Bill - electricity, rates, telephone etc.
Please Note:The Closing Date for bursary application is mid-March each year. Please ensure that your contact details (address, landline, mobile are specified in your letter of motivation). The certification of documents must be done by a Commissioner of Oaths. Your application will be rejected if you fail to submit any one of the documents or fail to complete and sign all sections of the application form.
Please contact us for a copy of the application form.
Hospital Kitchen Inspections
The key objective of this portfolio is to ensure religious, dietary and health compliance of the various food-servicing units at the State and selected private hospitals. The current hospitals under the HWMEM’s jurisdiction include: Groote Schuur, Somerset, Tygerberg, Christian Barnard Memorial, Valkenberg, Red Cross, Kingsbury, Mowbray Maternity, Lentegeur, Vincent Palotti, Claremont Medi-Clinic, Eerste River, False Bay, UCT Private, Helderberg (in Somerset West), Victoria and the Western Cape Rehabiltation Centre.
Providing halaal certification at these kitchen and food servicing units is a task which requires dedication and regular and even random visits to ensure halaal dietary and hygienic compliance.
The facilities and equipment and surrounding areas at each hospital are examined very thoroughly and tested against the HWMEM’s strict guidelines. Problems areas are reported immediately, prioritised and escalated according to their urgency and monitored until such time they have been resolved to the HWMEM’s satisfaction.
It’s important for the Muslim community to know when a family member, relative or friend is recuperating or being treated at these hospitals, they have a level of assurance that the dietary requirements from a religious perspective are not compromised.
Madrassatul Khayr (School for the Visually Impaired)
The Madrassa under the auspices and administration of provides visually-impaired and blind individuals an opportunity to knowledge of Al-Quran, Fiqh, Taughid and Akhlaq through the medium of Braille and Audio equipment. Braille is a medium of communication that enables members of the visually impaired community to read, share and experience the beauty of the glorious Quran and allied literature. The Madrassa is unique in that it is the only one of its kind in the Western Cape.
The weekly Saturday afternoon classes have a diverse range of age groups and are offered free with no cost to those eager to learn. The Madrassa has three taxi operators to shuttle the students to and from their places of stay.
The teaching staff of the Madrassa which include, amongst others, the principal Moulana Toughied Essau, Sheikh Ismail Londt and Sister Rufeeda Doutie are totally committed and dedicated.
In addition to the formal classes, the Madrassa also organizes extra mural activities in the form of participating in the annual St, Dunstan’s long cane rally attend external lectures and / or musical shows.
The families who have visually-impaired or blind children and relatives are encouraged to make use of the opportunity availed by Madrassatul Khayr. This sometimes could be their only source of hope and encouragement.
The Hospital Welfare and Muslim Educational Movement (HWMEM) has been assisting Muslim families with mortuary matters, in particular, with the medico-legal requirements since it was established in 1942. Over the years, the number of service providers and death registrar has mushroomed but HWMEM has been steadfast in its service offering. HWMEM facilitates the release of the deceased persons from the hospital or mortuary authorities.
This portfolio is often one that is overshadowed by emotion and sentiment, however, the Muslim community needs to understand that this is also a matter strictly governed and policed by the authorities who are not often familiar with the burial and religious requirements that Islam dictates.
As a community, we have to understand that: there are two major classes, i.e Natural Causes and Unnatural causes. A major problem is where people have embraced Islam but have not changed their name, the death will be registered and treated in a manner that the name in the Identity Document reflects. It is of utmost importance that the changes are recorded by the Dept. of Home Affairs soon after any conversion to Islam has taken place.
Despite the many service providers, the portfolio remains challenging due to the influx of foreign nationals – many who are from Islamic countries and are illegal with no documentation and have put a strain on resources.
HWMEM’s relationship with the members of the Forensic Services has been strengthened with a genuine mutual understanding for the process from both the Islamic community and the authorities – in this manner we can only improve this often emotional experience.
Social Welfare Services
The Hospital Welfare and Muslim Educational Movement (HWMEM) participates in regular activities to help deserving and disadvantaged communities. This includes it’s very successful Ramadaan Ifthaar and food parcel distribution programs. The food parcel distribution continues throughout the year. Just by seeing the glowing smiles of satisfaction on the faces of the respective musallees and families after having a warm meal or being a recipient of a food parcel is enough to kindle the spirit and soften the heart. The HWMEM also assists, where possible, financially challenged families where it has to conduct fieldwork to identify and verify deserving support.
For decades the HWMEM has provided the disabled access to wheelchairs, making them more mobile and consequently bringing joy and fulfilment to their lives.
The annual participation in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour under the theme of “Pedalling for the Poor” brings in much needed funds which is channelled towards serving the community.