History of Africa Muslims Agency
The Africa Muslims Agency SA is pleased to report to it’s donors that their support since inception 25 years ago, has enabled the Africa Muslims Agency to be the pacesetters of the Islamic Renaissance in the Continent of Africa.
Mahomed Farid Choonara (MFC) (May his grave be filled with noor) the late director of Africa Muslims Agency South Africa was instrumental in the formation of the organisation in 1987, which grew to one of the largest and most respected NGO operating in Africa, providing the platform for relief work from South Africa to the rest of Africa. In 1992 AMA was the first NGO from South Africa to send assistance to the horn of Africa and an unprecedented show of solidarity and humanity, 2 hercules aircrafts and the SAS Tafelberg transported more then a 1000 tons of relief to Somalia at the height of the famine. The organisation under the mentorship of MFC has provided more then 2500 waterwells, 200 boreholes close onto 300 Musallahs (Ibaadat Khanas), 200 Masajids and still cares for close onto 11000 orphans at its centres across Africa.
Locally the project that stands out is the Al Furqaan Islamic Centre based in Grasmere/Finetown. This Centre has become the beacon of light and a testament of what we can achieve collectively, “Endowed with the philosophy of unity and partnership” this centre brings together many different organisations working towards a common goal “Poverty alleviation”. AMA / Direct Aid International South Africa partners with more then 76 local organisations reaching the communities that are most vulnerable.
This revival of Islamic social, moral and intellectual learning and development is and has been manifested in the existence of the range of Institutions and activities initiated by the Agency across the length and breath of the Continent of Africa. To have established and to continue to maintain the momentum of this renewed hunger for Islamic knowledge, behaviour, morality and character “is not easy” according to Dr. Al Sumait, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Africa Muslims Agency.
“This is hard, serious and sometimes very dangerous work”, says Dr. Al Sumait, “If you want to work in Africa you will have to pay the price.” Dr. Al Sumait spends ten months out of every year in rural Africa. AMA has a fulltime employed contingent of 3288 staff comprising of builders; contractors; architects, medical specialists, teachers, agriculturalists, administrators, Ulema, dawah workers and general field workers. The Agency is building and running schools, providing health care and clean water, and helping people find their own way out of hardships. “Much of the work is targeted at children and education, which is seen as the best way to make people self reliant. it is the Agency’s top priority”, says Dr Al Sumait.
Considering that the overall development of communities is the Agency’s primary focus it has been obliged to engage in relief projects in famine stricken areas in various parts of the Continent. “Much of the relief work is concentrated in remote areas and communities where it is difficult for governments and other NGO’s to reach”.