Gift of the Givers Upgrades and Extends Christ Church Mayfair Camp
It was an honour for us to be granted this historic facility by the church authority to help fellow displaced African brothers and sisters. Our teams set about upgrading the facility, painting, tiling, repairing the boundary wall, ablution facilities and carrying out just about everything that was necessary to prepare buildings and ground for the accommodation of victims of Xenophobia.
Tents were erected but after the first night we discovered that heavy rain seeped through. The tent was replaced, many now have double layers with sandbags to protect against wind and rain. Mattresses, blankets, linen, detergents, hygiene packs, sanitary pads, diapers and three fresh, hot meals are provided daily. Medical care, trauma counselling on site and transport to hospital when necessary is provided. The quality of the camp and service standards has spread to all. The United Nations has requested a meeting to discuss the possibility of them partnering Gift of the Givers; Doctors Without Borders have requested permission to examine patients at the camp today. We have gladly welcomed them.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Safety and Security MEC, Sizakela Nkosi Malabane, Deputy Minister of Defence, Kebby Maphstsoe, Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Giga, Johannesburg City Council officials, heads of SAPS and Intelligence Services, are but only some of the visitors that have acknowledged and endorsed the quality and care at the camp. Local and international media, corporate South Africa and ordinary South Africans have been coming in droves as visitors, well wishers and providers of contributions both in cash and kind. A Jewish Group from Hebron also visited the camp entertaining 47 children.
Meals are provided for those in the camp and other displaced foreigners who come hungry from "outside" to eat. Hundreds of packages of aid in the form of food, blankets and hygiene packs have been given to those who, sadly, opted to return to their home countries and departed by bus over the last few days. These and all other services continue as we expand the camp on site. A teacher educating foreign children on the church site has also been sponsored by Gift of the Givers.
Every refugee has a story to tell; these include: a highly traumatized Nigerian and British citizen (formerly from Zimbabwe), who were kidnapped, beaten, held for five days, then dumped in Hillbrow; a Malawian whose house was burnt in Orange Farm who walked from there to our camp, the Zimbabwe lady who's story we related yesterday, a victim who walked from Durban and tried to get transport on the way to Johannesburg was also directed to our camp. There are many more stories as the camp numbers have increased from 19 on Saturday to 125 by last night.
We thank all people, local and international, for their kind words of encouragement, good wishes and continuous contributions. Those still wanting information please contact toll free 0800786911.