Helping Hands – The young Muslim’s charity organisation
Helping Hands is a charitable organization founded by the youth, with aims of targeting the youth in order to get them proactive towards social development and upliftment. Muslimah(Life)Style spoke to the young Muslim woman behind it all…
A young Muslimah was recently confronted by a world different to her own when she visited an orphanage in Lenasia, a suburb Gauteng, South Africa . Spurred on by the desperate conditions that broke her heart, she decided to get proactive and started using technology in order to help the orphanage.
Nineteen year old Lutfiya Shaik, a travel and tourism student in Johannesburg, visited her aunt in Lenasia during Ramadan. Her aunt heard of an orphanage that was in a terrible condition and this inspired Lutfiya’s curiosity and she decided to investigate for herself.
She was taken aback by their conditions and decided that she needed to do something about it, “After I saw the sad state of the orphanage, I was determined to make a difference. So I sent out messages to my friends showing them pictures of the orphanage and they were just as affected as I was. We then came up with the name “Helping Hands”, spreading the word over social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. As more and more people came to know of our intentions to help, the group grew larger and larger in a space of just three days!”
Lutfiya and her friends have been taking pictures of the orphanage periodically and uploading them to Facebook, Twitter and the Blackberry Messenger Group dedicated to this service. By interacting this way, Helping Hands has attracted the attention of local newspapers such as the Rising Sun, and even the Sunday Times.
“There are 15 boys sleeping in one room” she says, “The facilities are in a bad state. The roof was leaking and the bathroom’s were made out of zinc. They have a lot of plumbing problems too. The boys are in need of clothing, proper bathing facilities and other items. However, the biggest need is for someone out there to share in the expense of electricity and various other expenses that the orphanage generates. Moulana Aslam Mayet, who runs the orphanage, pointed out to me that many generous people donated heaters for winter, however, since there was no one to help in the running expenses of the orphanage, the heaters remain unused for the most of winter.”
Lutfiya realizes that many youth today don’t really pay a part in social upliftment, therefore, she wishes to target her peers in order to help society, “We pray that we rather use our time in helping those that are less fortunate than us. Helping Hands consists of mainly teenagers and young adults. We are always stereotyped as rebellious teenagers, and alhamdulilah, with the Almighty’s guidance; we can accomplish successes with our projects and create some social awareness by encouraging our friends and family to contribute and volunteer their time with us. Hopefully, we can create an outlet where kids can spend their time doing good, solely for reward from Allah. InshAllah, we hope to grow from strength to strength and continue throughout the year.”
Getting back to the orphanage, Lutfiya describes that the children are studying at the madrassah at Takolia’s Farm in Lenasia, “Most of the kids are trying to become Huffaaz, so we want to create an environment that will be conducive for study in order for them to benefit themselves and society, solely for Allah.”
Running Helping Hands can be challenging, Lutfiya says, “Sometimes we don’t always get the support we need, but, Alhamdulilah, we are managing. Where one of us lacks in bringing things to the table, per se, another helps out, hence the name of Helping Hands. We help each other out. However, we still need the support and guidance of other organisation’s out there, help from the general public and motivation from those around us in order to grow and succeed.”
When speaking about future endeavours, Lutfiya mentions the boys orphanage is not their only project, “InshaAllah we would like to help Qari Aslam Mayet with the rest of the orphanages that are under his care, therefore, our next project is the girls madressa in Ext 11, Lenasia. That will be a greater task as they are 50 girls there, but with will Allahs help and the amazing support our group has received so far, we will try to do the best we can in order to help them. For the boy’s orphanage that we’re currently helping out, we hope to make them apart of the family and make a firm commitment to continue helping them, by assisting with food, and other maintenance tasks of the orphanages. We hope to keep our friendship with them and not only let it be a once off thing but to continue to assist them!”
Lutfiya gets very excited when speaking about helping others, “As a Muslimah, I am determined to better myself each day. In helping others I am also helping myself to become a better person and inshAllah, a better Muslim. Helping Hands makes me appreciate all the blessings Allah has bestowed upon me. This project makes me eternally grateful to my friends and family for supporting Helping Hands and proving to be reliable, generous, and caring, Muslims. I am truly grateful for all their assistance, and their sincere commitment to making Helping Hands a success. We make dua that Allah helps us at all times as we are only doing this for Him in order to attain sawaab (reward) and to help Mankind.”
Lutfiya has a few words on encouraging those who want to do social upliftment projects, “Do not do things to prove yourself to anyone if you wish to do good, follow your heart and those who believe in you and love you will encourage you and will stand beside you. Do it for the pleasure of Allah and there shall always be barakaah and blessings in it.”
Speaking to Lutfiya, it’s hard not to be inspired by this young 19 year old woman. With the help of the Almighty, she managed to get the youth in her community to help out an orphanage in just a few days. May her efforts go rewarded, and may the orphans see an end to their plight soon. InshAllah, Ameen.
If you wish to contribute to visit the Helping Hands Facebook page