Gift of the Givers Increases Aid Delivery as Xenophobic Attacks Escalate

It has been an extremely busy period in Durban for Gift of the Givers since our involvement in the Xenophobic Crisis.  From Day 1, on 30 March, we were at the Isipingo Police Station.  Our co-ordinator, Dr Hashi, met the KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongeseni Dhlomo, the Ethekwini Mayor, Mr James Nxumalo, and has been in regular contact with city council officials, co-operating fully on this unfortunate event.  Extensive distribution has been carried out at the Isipingo and Chatsworth refugee centers assisting hundreds of families.  Humanitarian support has been provided in the form of cooked meals, cereals, baby food, bottled water, plastic buckets, diapers, sanitary pads, blankets, personal hygiene items, disinfectants and clothes.  Some of the refugees were moved to safety from their homes to the centers.

There has been a huge upsurge in displacement of foreign nationals in Phoenix and Verulam last night with more than 2000 foreign nationals gathering at the police stations of these areas bringing the total number of known displaced people to about 8500 men, women and children in all centers, collectively.  This excludes many who have fled and hidden themselves in private accommodation.  Dr Hashi (pictured above in Verulam), is on site there from early this morning assessing the essential needs whilst Salim Sayed, KZN Project Manager, is preparing tons of supplies for distribution both at Verulam and Phoenix today.

There has been an outpouring of support from ordinary South Africans who are disgusted with the attacks not only because they are foreign, or African, but because they are fellow human beings.  Unilever has come forward with massive contributions for the purpose and there have been multiple enquiries from others who want to assist.

Many foreign nationals have indicated that they have lost hope and faith in South Africa and have lost all respect for people who they stood by during the liberation struggle.  We are preparing aid packages for those who may journey onwards to their home countries.  Whilst we pray that violence does not flare up in Johannesburg, Gift of the Givers has already been granted a land by the Johannesburg City Council to establish an emergency refugee facility.  We have tents and all essential supplies on standby but pray that sanity prevails and this does not become necessary.

Those locally and internationally wanting to support this campaign can do so through cash donations into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052137228, Branch Code 057525.  Please send deposit slip by fax or email with full details for acknowledgement purposes.  All contributions are tax deductible.  Contact laila@giftofthegivers.org  Items in kind are also welcome.  These include all the relief items mentioned earlier and to that we can add towels, winter clothing, sweet packs and non-alcoholic drinks.

Details toll free on 0800786911.  The needs are huge and growing by the hour.  Gift of the Givers has already distributed R400 000 of supplies with another R1 million on immediate standby.  Your support assists us in making this possible for which we thank you profusely.

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