The An-Nur Educational Centre non-profit organisation (NPO) hosted its annual Nasheed at the Samaj Centre in Gatesville on Saturday 27 July.Nasheed, which is Arabic singing, was aimed at raising funds to support its Philippi-based boys’ hostel. Tickets were sold at R60 per person and the centre hoped to raise about R16 000.The hostel accommodates 20 boys between the ages of 10 and 18 from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country. It forms part of their four existing Islamic centres: Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Brown’s Farm, Crossroads and Gatesville. The centre offers a leadership academy incorporating a full-time Haafith school for youth, Islamic studies for Grades R to 12 as well as classes for adults. The youth is also treated with goodies on big Islamic days as the centre distributes food parcels on Ramadan, clothing on Eid and meat from the Qurabani on Eid dul Atgah. Most performers at the event were the beneficiaries of the hostel and the revert classes. Zulfah Mintin Francis, the centre’s administrator says the Nasheed is mostly supported by the Muslim community. “Most Muslim people enjoy this compared to the modern-day music that our youth of today listen to. It is a very calming form of singing by artists across the Eastern world,” she says.These boys are provided with accommodation, meals, school fees, clothing and all other activities that they choose to participate in.“It is a mammoth task, but we would like to improve the lives of these bright boys to try and break the cycle of poverty. The students come from various dysfunctional homes where some of them have to play the role of a parent to the younger siblings or come home to a house with no adult supervision.“These students are daily accosted by drug lords and violence on the streets they continuously have to dodge bullets, and this leads to a huge drop-out in school,” Mintin Francis says.The centre gives them a safe home and a chance to make something of themselves encouraging them to be a role model in their communities, “God Willingly”.Benefitting youth are identified through a research and interview programme where the centre goes to different areas and interview students and parents to see if they qualify as a hostel student. “A qualified student must have good results in math and literature,” says Mintin Francis.