THE Asa Majeed Learnership Centre (AMLC), situated in Mitchells Plain, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The learnership centre has 160 full-time students and nine staff members, which include the principal, caretaker and teachers, and offer the Tafelsig community Islamic classes at no cost.
The AMLC is run by a dedicated team headed by the chairperson, Zane Rinquest, and trustees, Zulfiq Isaacs and Zihir Moosa. Rinquest noted that the centre is supported by willing donors, sponsors, family, friends and the greater community, and would not be able to function without that support. The learnership centre also has a computer room which is available to anyone from the community who would like to use its internet service or for printing purposes.
Apart from running an educational facility, the AMLC also has a feeding scheme for the needy in the community. While the Ramadaan food drive – where food parcels are handed out to the Tafelsig community – is an annual project, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic added an extra dimension to the feeding scheme.
‘The trustees realised that there was a greater need for cooked meals to be provided to the community during the pandemic, and from this need we started our 2020 Ramadaan feeding scheme, and we have now evolved into a full-time feeding scheme as well as a learnership centre in the Tafelsig community,’ said Rinquest.
From March, last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic made its presence felt, the AMLC has cooked and provided more than 90 000 meals. About 500 people are fed thrice a week, and during the last ten days of Ramadaan, it was scaled up to 2 000 people on the uneven days of Ramadaan as part of the Laylatul Qadr drive. On the 27th day of Ramadaan, more than 5 000 people were fed.
The chairperson and the trustees express their special thanks to Aunty Fatima Johnson, her mother and all those involved in feeding, for selflessly providing AMLC with her home and agreeing to cook for the community with the assistance of volunteers from the community.
The AMLC has now outgrown Aunty Fatima’s kitchen and plans to make alternative arrangements to expand the feeding operation going forward, while still involving her and her team. The trustees are in discussion with the City of Cape Town to build a community centre or soup kitchen adjacent to the AMLC so people may collect their food in a more dignified manner.
For more information on the AMLC learnership programme and feeding scheme, please contact Moulana Ebrahiem Salie on 073 222 9734.