Xenophobia May 2008

The Gift of the Givers (GOTG) Foundation was of the first disaster relief organisations to respond to the Xenophobia crisis when it flared on May 12, 2008, in Alexandra, Johannesburg.

On the first day, 200 blankets and food was supplied. After an assessment by GOTG Founder and Chairman, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, we provided tents, blankets, food parcels and baby goods to the affected. Initially, they assisted when the refugees were based at the police stations in Primrose Park, Germiston, Thembisa, Rabiridge, Boksburg and Cleveland. Our efforts continued when the refugees were moved to the International Shelters (refugee camps) located in Midrand, Corlett Gardens, Rifle Range and Springs. GOTG also assisted all the churches and City Halls that were involved in supporting the refugees. We sent blankets, food parcels and mostly baby goods to them.

Further outreach was made to the Embassies of Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somalia for the repatriation of its citizens. We organised and paid for the transport of people to be repatriated to their respective countries. We also supplied them with food for one week to use when they get home.

The Foundation also worked with various international humanitarian and aid organisations. For Amnesty International, we facilitated their access to the camps and provided them with transport so that they could carry out their assessments. We worked alongside the following organisations in providing assistance to the IDPs: UN Habitat, United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA). When the Xenophobia crisis spread to Cape Town, GOTG sent supplies to the government’s disaster management body and local community organisations.

During this time, GOTG appealed to the community via the media and hence, organized collection points at schools and shopping malls in Gauteng. The community responded by donating:

  • Money
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Sanitary Supplies
  • Baby Goods
Numerous South African companies also supported the organisation.

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Village Walk Xenophobia Collection

Village Walk Xenophobia CollectionGift of the Givers was bombarded by the public with requests to help the victims of xenophobic violence. On 19 May 2008, we set up a collection point at Sandton's Village Walk where people were invited to bring their donations toward our mission to assist the many displaced, cold and hungry foreign nationals.

Many took a stand against xenophobia, primarily through protest marches and collection
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