Earlier this year, Al-Waagah Islamic Institute for the Deaf (AWIID) took more than 50 underprivileged Deaf people from South Africa on a historic trip to visit the holy land of Makkah.
The organisation located in the heart of Athlone sent 58 Deaf men and women, who include youth, on Umrah (pilgrimage) making the project a first for the organisation and one of its biggest ever.
Following the historic journey that was publicised and commended across the globe, the institute is once again back with their second campaign and is calling on the public to be part of yet another significant moment.
Cassiem De Wet, the chairperson for Al Waagah announced last month that a R4.5 million plot has been purchased with an aim to build the organisation’s first fully integrated school for Deaf. The plot located in Schaapkraal, Cape Town was purchased by Al-Waagah and is approximately 5300sqm.
“For the last 20 years, we have been working towards this moment where we can finally have our foothold for the school. This project all started as a madrassa, that lead us to see the need of the Deaf,” he told TV talk show host Faizal Sayed during a live interview.
“It was never enough to have them (Deaf) for only two hours a week at madrassa. This is when the idea came about to have them stay with us for longer during the week, by building a big school.
“That moment is finally here and we are ready to start building our school. This is not going to be like any other school in Cape Town and SA. It is going to be a fully integrated school with students from all walks of life. We will provide services to both the Deaf students and those with other disabilities.
“We are proud to be standing on this piece of land today. We are excited, and we are even more excited for the community. We have proven to the world that right here on the southern part of SA, we have managed to kick off our first campaign of sending a large group of Deaf people on Umrah, and now we are back with our next campaign to build a massive school for them,” said Cassiem.
The upcoming school for the Deaf will include a pre-school and primary school and several other programmes that were inspired through the group’s visit to Jeddah where they explored other Deaf institutes.
A press conference will be held at the Deen Channel premises at 166 Gunners Circle, Epping 1 on Thursday 16 May at 11h00 sharp. Media are invited to attend the gathering to hear more on Al- Waagah’s new campaign. Aishah Cassiem (Deen Times)