Registration Number: 2016/403723/08

Colours of Hope started out as nothing more than a helping hand of Madrasah Ummul Hasanaat to people in need of Quraans.

Madrasah Ummul Hasanaat is a private maktab that runs in Newcastle (Northern KZN Province) and Mayfair, Johannesburg (Gauteng Province), officially established in 2006. Twin sisters, Muallimah Sa’uda Asmal Ismail and Muallimah Kaashifa Asmal Jamal run each of the maktabs. Ummul Hasanaat created its website in March 2009 and had a yearly charitable Quraan distribution.

Brief History
Madrasah Ummul Hasanaat had done small charities before on its own, mainly sending Quraans to poor areas in India like Kerala (Aug 2010), Bihar (Nov 2011) and to Ghana (in July 2013). The institute had also contributed to local South African causes like the Cii Rose Park Campaign (Oct 2011), the Jamiat KZN camapign- Sierra Leone Quraans (July 2012), etc. albeit small amounts. They continued to make small donations to various organisations and causes as well as donations to big organisations for the orphans of Gaza, etc. to name but a few.

In 2013 Madrasah Ummul Hasanaat decided to create a charitable division, thus named the “Colours of Hope Organisation”.

When the war broke out in Syria, Ummul Hasanaat wanted to do more, hence the Syria Stationery Drive commenced. This was the first time Colours of Hope have worked outside Madrasah Ummul Hasanaat boundaries, meaning with another NGO. An idea of a stationery run was suggested by volunteer of the Colours of Hope Organisation, Yasmin Ismail.

A meeting with Gift of the Givers was held and Yasmin Ismail, Kaashifa, and Sa’uda pitched the idea of the Syria Stationery Drive to Sister Fadia Jacobs of Gift of the Givers at their office in Johannesburg and COH was born on 28 September 2013.

What We Do

Colours of Hope is a purely humanitarian, registered non-profit organisation. Mahatma Gandhi said “Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion”. We can think of no better word that describes this than the South African term “Ubuntu”.

We respond to the needs of the people depending on the nature of the crisis or the need itself. We work on a variety of local, national and international projects, with several reliable, trustworthy organisations in ensuring delivery to worthy recipients and proper distribution of donations.  

“We may not always be in the means, transport may sometimes be a problem, and man power may slow us down at times, but we push and try to the best of our ability to work as best we can with what we have, striving till we reach our goal” – Kaashifa Jamal.

Colours of Hope maintains administrative expenses at less than 5% of their total overhead, spending more than 90% of their income on actual distributions and aid that benefit recipients, ensuring that your money is put to good use! 

Why We Do It

Colours of Hope was not born due to the Syrian war. For twin sisters Kaashifa and Sa’uda Ismail, founders of Colours of Hope, it was  a calling… a destiny, an objective to be fulfilled since the age of just 7 years old. “Our first ’empathetic’  feelings began many years ago when we saw homeless people on our gran’s street corner, begging at the shops. The image of this poverty, increased by apartheid, left it’s mark on our little hearts. Our first compassionate intervention was at school, when our father used to make extra lunch for us to give to those who could not afford a sandwich. Excursion times we had to carry an extra bag for this reason. We remember how good it felt seeing our classmate eat with relish what dad had prepared with love. Occurrences like these were daily. ‘How can you not be humane when you are a human?’, mum would often say to herself especially when she would see something that distressed her on the news”. Older twin Sa’uda continues, “I remember the first time hearing the word massacre, regarding Beirut, my first thoughts were the children who were left without parents. I remember seeing images of the September, 1987  floods in Natal and feeling the loss for those I did not know. The 1992 Somalian Famine images sent guilt rushing through my soul and a burning desire to reach the starving masses, although all we were able to do was continue to feed those around us. So Colours of Hope was just a matter of time I guess”. 

What You Can Do

“We feel so helpless when we see an image of a starving mother watching her malnutritioned child face death or a father with no place to shelter his family… There’s more we can do than prayer alone, or just clicking the ‘like’ button on our Facebook page”, says Sa’uda Ismail. The twins continue, “Create and share awareness, promote unity, donate, get your hands dirty by picking up some boxes, volunteering your time and effort. Do something. At Colours of Hope, we’d like to put a smile on a tear-stained face; to fill a hungry tummy; to give a sense of relief to a needy mother; to give a father some self respect. We’re just trying to do what we can with what we have, incurring as little expense as possible, getting people involved who really want to give back to the community or those who feel as helpless as we do when we see images of humanity failing”.