MUSLIM Views and Hospital Welfare and Muslim Educational Movement (HWMEM) have joined hands in launching a bursary programme specifically geared to support the development of independent journalism and media studies.
The programme is launched on the back of a relationship between Muslim Views and HWMEM of over two decades. Muslim Views as publisher and HWMEM as welfare organisation both have deep roots in the community and have even shared offices for a period of 12 years.
HWMEM has a proud history of over 75 years. In 1969, the organisation is reported to have collaborated with contemporary liberation movements with a view to establish an education fund.
This was followed by the establishment of the Education Bursary portfolio of HWMEM to assist students at tertiary institutions.
HWMEM also played an important role in resisting the racially based permit system in the ’70s and early ’80s.
The collaboration between HWMEM and the universities exposed these institutions to the risk of losing their state subsidies.
The organisation’s first disbursement to deserving students was in the amount of R720.
Financial assistance to students pursuing tertiary education amounts to R24 million to approximately 4 500 needy students over seven decades.
In 2017 alone, HWMEM disbursed R2,1 million to 170 students in South Africa.
Last year, HWMEM announced plans to grow and diversify its investment in all its programmes, including the bursary programme.
Financial assistance to students was not only earmarked for an increase but additional support in the form of workshops on career guidance and strategic partnerships was announced.
The partnership with Muslim Views is one such programme. The newspaper, which has a publishing history of almost 59 years, started off as Muslim News and had as its founding editor Imam Abdullah Haron who was killed in detention in 1969.
The apartheid state banned 21 editions of the paper.
The mission of Muslim Views is to always remain an independent media organisation, using contemporary media to provide information, comment and analysis, and to advocate universal values and social justice.
The paper strives to be a critical mirror of local issues, South African society and international affairs. It embraces universal values and has a strong focus on social issues.
The partnership was launched with a bursary awarded to Amina Waggie who is currently registered for her second semester of study in Communications and Media Studies at University of South Africa (Unisa).
Waggie joined Muslim Views in 2016 as an intern and her work has since been consistently published in the newspaper.
The vision of Muslim Views and HWMEM in the partnership is to develop human resources for the benefit of independent journalism, particularly in community print media.
The challenges faced by the independent print media sector are even more acute than that of mainstream media because of poor market conditions, media monopolies and revolutionary changes brought on by technology.
‘With this initiative, we hope to contribute to the sustainability of a vital and unique media institution in South Africa,’ said Nazeer Khalfe, education secretary of HWMEM.