67 Minutes for Mandela

We are at a very sad point in South African and world history where one of the greatest statesman and an iconic symbol of peace, reconciliation and humanity, our own homegrown, African Nobel lauriette, Nelson Mandela, is critically ill. All of us, irrespective of religious or cultural identity, are absolutely unequivocal in the belief that the only reality of life is death itself. We embrace this concept and make appropriate preparations in all aspects.

From an Islamic perspective, Muslim teaching states that the departed soul gets benefit in three ways: the good that it has left behind in terms of hospitals, waterwells and other such entities of social benefit; the education, moral and ethical values that someone has gained from a deceased person's initiative and now this benefits that person and others altruistically; and finally the deceased person benefits through prayers done by family, progeny, a nation and through good deeds done by others in the name of the deceased. These are all universal values accepted by all as the Lord of all mankind is One, a point we need to understand and appreciate as humans wanting to live in harmonious co-existence.

Gift of the Givers, supported by the Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management and the Johannesburg inner city council, in keeping with the above universal values and in honour of our beloved Madiba, has embarked on a project to significantly improve the quality of life of 69 Alexandra families whose homes on the banks of the Jukskei River has made them victims many a time of the recurring floods resulting in misery and even loss of life. Land has generously been sponsored by the different tiers of government, all permissions have been granted, there has been acceptance of the project from the residents, and local labour will be incorporated into our building team.

These houses will be based on the prototype designed and developed by us for the Khayelitsha Fire victims following the New Year's day disaster in Cape Town. Those houses have been outstanding and have withstood all the diverse weather patterns in Cape Town, including the recent torrential rain, see link http://www.giftofthegivers.org/new-year-shack-fires. Our Cape Town project manager, Gawa Sayed, who supervised the entire construction of the 103 houses has arrived with her team and has commenced building work on site this week in Alexandra, which has just celebrated 100 years of existence and has a rich history of political and social activism.
We intend having 15 houses ready by 18 July 2013 to coincide with our honoured Mandela's 95th birthday. Whatever is to be rests in the Hands of the Almighty. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the nation.

The assistance of corporates and the general South African public will be valued in bringing this project of 69 houses to fruition. For details call 0800 786 777.
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