Ramadan project packs up

THE annual Ramadan Humanitarian Project packed its last box on campus this week. The Wits’ Muslim Students Association (MSA) project has grown every year since it began in 2005.

It is ending because of logistical reasons said MSA medical school committee member, Yaaseen Cassim. Ramadaan – the Islamic fasting month – falls 10 days earlier every year according to the lunar calendar.

Next year it will fall during the holidays and exam period and running the project then would mean less student involvement and disrupt the project’s week of packing food hampers.

“That takes away from the objectives of the project [which is] to teach social responsibility and make students aware of the underprivileged,” said Cassim.

The project saw its seventh and final year end with the usual “packing week” on the Wit’s library lawns .

RHP – which was initiated by two Wits MSA committee members – has been a joint project with MSAs from the University of Pretoria and the University of Johannesburg who ran their “packing week” at the same time.

Cassim said collectively they aimed to reach a target of R2-million. By Thursday the universities had packed 2600 hampers with a variety of foods in a total of 5200 boxes.

MSA main campus treasurer, Alia Kajee, said the project still gets alumni pupils involved and she was sad to see it end. Like Cassim, she said the end of the RHP does not mean the end of the project entirely.

The committee is thinking of new project ideas to generate support of this nature for next year’s fasting month as well. “In a couple of years when logistics and time permit, the MSA members of that time might revive the project,”said Cassim.

Students who volunteered to pack boxes this week said they did it because it was fun, they were able to meet new people and it was their way of giving back to the community.