Islamic Relief has responded to the plight of foreign migrants in South Africa who require emergency assistance by setting up a helpdesk to deal with xenophobia, awareness and advocacy issues concerning forced migration.
What is a refugee?
A person who is outside of his / her country of origin or habitual residence, owing to a fear of being persecuted because of his / her race, nationally, membership of a particular social group or his / her political opinion.
What is an asylum-seeker?
A person with similar definitions to a refugee but his / her application of refugee status is pending.
How many refugees / asylum-seekers live in South Africa?
There are between 162,900 and 171,400 refugees and asylum-seekers from Africa, Asia and Europe. During the last few months, a growing economic crisis in Zimbabwe has caused an increase in the number of forced migrants coming to South Africa.
What are the needs of refuges and asylum-seekers?
Apart from basic food and shelter, education and health care is also required.
What assistance does Islamic Relief currently provide
Since 2004, Islamic Relief has provided food parcels and clothing to 578 refugee families, in coordination with the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS). Islamic Relief has also provided food parcels to 1207 families from the Somali and Malawian communities, during the Ramadhan and Eid parcel distribution programme, in consultation with their respective local refugee committees.
How does Islamic Relief assist forced migrants?
We collect Zakah, Lillah and Sadaqah to help refugee with the following:
Food Hampers-Many refugee are women and children who travelled long distance and through harsh conditions before arriving in South Africa. Many are starving and have no income to buy food for their families. Islamic Relief intends providing food parcels to needy refugee families.
Shelter-Many women and children refugees currently live on the streets and are exposed to abuse and crime. It is important that a safe haven is provided, in the form of temporary shelter and accommodation.
Education-Islamic Relief will assist refugee children to enrol and attend school.
Vocational Training-Many young refugees cannot attend formal schooling due to their age, family commitments or having lost their families during war. IR will arrange for them to attend Vocational Skills training or Adult Education courses.
Health and Nutrition –Islamic Relief will provide healthcare and other nutritious items to needy refugee women, children, disabled and aged persons.
How can you help forced migrants?
Sponsor a monthly food parcel @ R300 per family
Sponsor monthly accommodation @ R300 per family
Sponsor a refugee child's education @ R150 per month
Sponsor training / education for a refugee @ R100 person
Sponsor a medical kit for female refugees @ R20 each