Here at “Team Yateem”

We fly the banner of “They matter to us”

Its the little voices, the little hearts that are usually overlooked and forgotten in times of difficulty. But to us these are the people that matter the most to us at Team Yateem, especially in the hard times, after all, it will be them that are required to rebuild the world torn down by the generation before them.

“We see them as They are our children.” –  (Orphans Director)

By Nurturing their future through:
Innovative giving and holistic guidance, we look at how to give them what’s best – Not what’s easiest.

With this driving us we just happen to –

  • Protect and educate them with the best local teachers – Teachers who don’t just teach, but they provide direction and guidance in their lives.
  • Wholesome meals that provide culturally sensitive nutrition that are sourced locally and maintain a healthy balanced diet for their growing needs.
  • Stabilise their homes by maintaining rent/accommodations giving them grounding and confidence

This is all done so that one day we hope to have been part of developing leaders that can lead themselves and the next generation out of the same stresses they have faced.

Come and be part of the family, Be part of #TeamYateem!


Kafalah – They matter to us

The following is an excerpt from a post-doctorate around the topic of Islamic Kafalah and its meanings and applications. This is the grounding principle in how we at Team Yateem approach and plan our care programmes.

Essentially it is to take on the responsibility and care of a child; not from your direct lineage; and treat them as if they were your own child in all aspects of life without taking them from their lineage.

Meaning and implications of Islamic kafalah

The term kafalah is traced to the Islamic law of obligations, which ‘permits a person to enter into a contract committing himself to certain undertakings in favour of another person provided that person has a material or moral interest in such undertaking’. Through kafalah, a family takes in an abandoned child, a child whose natural parents or family are incapable of raising him or her or who is otherwise deprived of a family environment, without the child being entitled to the family name or an automatic right of inheritance from the family. By definition, kafalah is ‘the commitment to voluntarily take care of the maintenance, of the education and of the protection of a minor, in the same way as a father would do it for his son’.

However, the Qur’an is very specific on the matter of property and wealth distribution through inheritance and they devolve on the basis of blood relationship only. There are specific allotments for each member of the family and an individual can only control the inheritance of about one-third of his property or estate. Apparently, the Qur’an did not contemplate an automatic right of inheritance through adoption in relation to the non-biological children or members of the family. Consequently, kafalah creates the following effects: exercise of the parental authority and the obligation of maintenance of the caregiver on the one hand, and persistence of the family bonds and preservation of the child’s family status on the other.

In other words, kafalah is the provision of alternative care without altering the child’s original kinship status because in Islam; the link between an adopted child and his biological parents must remain unbroken. 

Nonetheless, children taken into families under kafalah are not left out of the property distribution process as the Qur’an enjoins Muslims to assign portions of their wealth to others who, though unrelated to them by blood, are equally dependent on them. Consequently, such persons are provided for from the required one-third portion of an individual’s personal estate, which is subject to the owner’s prerogative and which can be exercised through a will or given as an outright gift (sadaqa). For instance, the Quranic injunction ‘and in their wealth, there is acknowledged right for the needy and destitute’ (or ‘and those sworn to you leave them their share’) has been interpreted to mean a duty to ‘render assistance to every needy person, including children, who lack the basic necessities of life’. Consequently, although a child adopted under kafalah has no legal right to inherit from the adoptive family, in practice such a child is assigned an inheritance through testamentary succession. This is a deliberate attempt at ensuring equality between natural and adopted children, thereby minimising the differences between adoption and kafalah. This is significant because the practice of kafalah does not permit discrimination between kafalah children and those born to the household in order to avoid a sense of deficiency or inferiority in the former. Kafalah, which presupposes an ‘unlimited entrustment’ of a child to a new family, is the highest form of protection and alternative care for orphans and abandoned children in Islam. It also represents a form of social security for such children. More significantly, kafalah’s unlimited nature results in a permanent bonding relationship between the child and the family in question. The child becomes a part of the family and is raised in the same manner as the natural children of the family. This is important since kafalah is seen not only as a meritorious deed, but also as a religious duty.

In the practice of kafalah, a child is usually placed in a family that is as closely related to his natural family as possible without the new parents totally displacing the original parents. Thus, there are three features which distinguish kafalah from adoption: non-severance of family ties; non-transference of inheritance rights; and no change in the child’s family name. The new family takes care of the child as an act of personal charity or for compensation, depending on the circumstances of the case. Thus, not all children deprived of a family environment have to be poor before being eligible for kafalah; kafalah was not always based on charity. For example, one means of rewarding men who survived the battle of Uhud was by allowing them to take responsibility over wealthy orphans and control their wealth. However, given that the context has changed over time, the emphasis is on providing a family-based alternative care for orphans and other abandoned children because they are destitute and require proper care and attention for proper overall development. As such, kafalah is, in the main, a primary moral obligation for Muslims towards such children. 

Feel free to download and read the whole document here.

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