Written by

July 28, 2017

The movement of refugees in search of asylum in Africa accounts for a sizeable proportion of migration in Africa. Since the onset of democracy in 1994, South Africa has attracted many asylum seekers from countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Burundi and Ethiopia fleeing their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.

Theoretically, South Africa has very progressive policies when it comes to displaced persons, however many evacuees face huge obstacles and red-tape when they attempt to convert their legal rights into effective protection.

So, it stands to reason that there still remains a number of problems they still have to overcome when they come to South African shores and borders – these include: a lack of jobs because many lack employable skills, language barrier and unnecessary delays to process their migration documentation.

But there is hope. The Muslim Refugee Association of South Africa (MRASA) in partnership with Islamic Relief South Africa (IRSA) has a programme supporting those in need with clothing items, food and education.

Through this initiative, an encouraging number of people have been supported so far in making a stand for their own financial independence. On July 27 2017, such a group in Westbank, Delft was supported with the donation of their own start up retail space. The project, which will trade primarily in clothing items, is set to benefit over 20 women and children.

Traditionally, Cape Town’s Delft community is faced with housing backlogs, rising crime and a host of social ills that stem from institutional apartheid and grinding poverty. The damage caused by residents during protests bears testimony to their frustration and the extreme poverty of this area.

Twenty seven-year-old Husna Habonimana, from Burundi has benefited from MRASA’s business training and had her own small enterprise sponsored by Islamic Relief South Africa, handed over to her. It included a specifically designed frame to act as her shop and clothing items worth R4,800 as her start-up capital. Husna is a single mother with two children and was jobless. She used to get support from her husband but when they separated she had to struggle on her own with her children.

“She has proved to be had working and well disciplined. She sometimes gets casual jobs to work in people’s shops or offices,” says MRASA’s director, Wagogo Ramadhan .

“Now I will have time to run my business and raise income to support my family. I thank MRASA and their sponsors for reaching out to us.” says Husna.

MRASA’s project manager, Nurudean Ssempa, says their mantra for donations has become a little like that of Olver Twist’s- ‘Please sir, a little more.’ Because a little more can go a long way.”

To do your part for others in a similar situation reach out to MRASA via their web page or speak to our team at 0800 111 898.


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