Al-Noor Orphanage, a non-profit organisation in Woodstock, founded in 2001 and registered in 2006 by Armiena Madien, has 35 children in their care at present, and runs on sponsorships and donations alone and no government funding. But when Asrin Property Developers’ commercial director, Shiraaz Hassan, discovered that they were lacking in various ways because the priest who was involved with generating funds and donations had fallen ill, he and his co-directors at Asrin stepped in to assist.
Asrin supply the home with groceries on a weekly basis and have begun upgrading sections of the home by painting walls that needed it and by installing play equipment on the grounds for the children.
At a recent party held to celebrate the completion of the jungle gym and mini-basketball hoops, Asrin arranged for a jumping castle to be brought in for the day and supplied lunch and various treats for all to enjoy, said Thulani Stemela, the facilities manager.
Al-Noor is managed by Stemela, Thando Apile, who is operations manager, and Funeka Mazibuko, their social worker.
The home has boys and girls living there, varying in ages from 8 to 16 years old. There are twelve staff members and they also rely on volunteers to help in any way possible.
Stemela said that there are numerous ways people can assist organisations such as these. They can, for example, instead of donating goods or money, give some of their time. He said that he would welcome anyone offering to run a class to teach them computer skills or baking and cooking, for example.
They also have a regular career day, where people can talk to the children to give them ideas on possible careers they can choose later, and guide them as to what school subjects they would need and what options are available to them, he said.
There are children here with special needs too, said Stemela. There are sometimes special dietary requirements such as a high fat diet that suits epileptics (one rich in fats and low in carbohydrates) and there has been a child with a brain tumour. Caring for these children takes extra time and there are sometimes volunteers from overseas who stay for months on end, but Stemela says that they would welcome more hands.
Hassan has said that they will continue to sponsor and donate to Al-Noor for as long as they can, as they can see the need is there.
If anyone is able and willing to help Al-Noor, whether in time or goods, they can be contacted on 021 447 8472 or emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org.