“If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years educate children” (Chinese philosopher and politician Kong Qiu aka Confucius, around 570 BC). This underscores the prophetic wisdom of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) who said seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.
The South African National Zakaat Fund has for the past 45 years been involved in various charity activities amongst Muslims in South Africa. In the last 25 years, the organisation identified a need to assist students who were studying for their tertiary education but struggling to afford fees for their studies
The bursary scheme was then started from humble beginnings. Over the years the bursary scheme has grown in leaps and bounds. The fund currently stands at approximately R21 million and assisting about 915 students with their tertiary education.
In recent years the bursary scheme was rebranded as SEED (SANZAF Education and Empowerment Development) and it broadened its scope to also include support to Early Childhood Development Centres as well as Islamic Theology Training Institutions.
The bursaries are allocated proportionately and the Kimberley Office which covers the Northern Cape, Free State and part of North West provinces was allocated an amount of R 440000.00 to disburse to 32 financially and academically deserving students.
These 32 students come from diverse groups amongst the Historically Disadvantaged groupings within the vast area which the Kimberley Office covers with specific reference to African, Indian, Malay/Coloured students whilst three students of foreign descent were also assisted. Over the years there has there been a steady increase in the allocation of bursaries to African students. Students who are supported are registered for various courses from Actuarial Sciences, Law, Engineering, Accounting, Business Management, Agricultural Sciences to Computer Sciences to Project Management, to mention but a few. When we evaluate the applicants we consider amongst other criterion the applicants performance, their financial need and the communities need of the chosen professions.
In addition, as part of our SEED Programme, SANZAF has also supported Lesedi Early Childhood Development Centre (Creche) in Galeshewe as well as Khairul Madaaris Darul Uloom Kimberley (an institution that trains Islamic theologians).
Indeed, with this programme SANZAF is planning for 100 years.