After 37 years the Mustadafin Foundation has settled into its own building in Bridgetown and launched the new premises on Saturday with founders, residents and family members.

The new premises was bought by the late Abdullah Gangraker, owner of the Wembley Group of Companies, who died in June 2016.

The Mustadafin Foundation was established in 1986 in response to political unrest and violence in townships across Cape Town which left the community, particularly women and children, traumatised.

A group of friends started to provide services such as accommodation, food and clothing, medical care and trauma counselling.

Since inception, the foundation has established 22 pre-schools, three Islamic community centres, feeding schemes, annual food parcel distributions on Eid and Christmas, programmes addressing education, healthcare, disaster relief, adult literacy, a bursary programme for tertiary students in
need and a partnership with Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb for accessible alternative community healthcare.

Mustadafin, which was previously based in Lansdowne, moved into its new premises last week and hosted a launch on Saturday March 14.

Among those in attendance was the family of Mr Gangraker. The building is in honour of Mr Gangraker and a plaque was made in tribute to him.

Chairperson of the foundation, Dr Anwah Nagia, said the success of the foundation was owed to the community, staff, and sponsors who have relentlessly worked to build up the company.

“We celebrate the victories that we have now. They were built on the soles and the mercy of those who went before us. They didn’t leave it there by defending the lives of people, they embarked on lots of programmes, one particular programme was Mustadafin,” he said.

He said the aim of the organisation was to bring the oppressed into freedom. He said that the democracy that we have today cannot be entirely expressed as freedom. He added that the organisation does not carry out poverty alleviation but rather poverty eradication by teaching and training people to able to create an income to sustain their families.

He said the main aim of the organisation is food intervention so that families and especially the
3 000 children they feed daily can focus at school as they have a full tummy. The programme takes care of the children until age five or even later as their school supplies and health and sanitation are taken of, so that the children are able to resist diseases.

“We want to thank the mothers and fathers and our partners who help us to butter a slice
of bread and give us sandwiches when we attend
to disaster relief situations. With this new building we are aiming to provide 10 million meals,” he said.

Director of the Mustadafin Foundation, Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, said even pensioners, with the little money
they have, donate money towards the foundation every year by travelling with public transport to bring it to the office.

“The organisation has never had money and we still do not but so many people have sponsored us and taken this journey with us despite that,” she said.