Help for Syr­i­ans warmly re­ceived

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KHAYA KOKO khaya.koko@inl.co.za

Oper­a­tionSA founder Yusuf Abram­jee re­turned from his trip to Syria at the week­end with an en­hanced ap­pre­ci­a­tion for South Africans’ lev­els of gen­eros­ity.

Oper­a­tionSA is a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that seeks to re­duce hu­man suf­fer­ing, and Abram­jee said it had now dis­trib­uted R9.7 mil­lion to seven char­i­ties on the ground in Syria which do hu­man­i­tar­ian work with refugees.

Abram­jee con­ceded he had not ex­pected so much money to be do­nated when they started their or­gan­i­sa­tion, call­ing the re­sponse phe­nom­e­nal.

“It shows the South African spirit of ubuntu in ac­tion. It shows that we as South Africans do care, even for peo­ple thou­sands of kilo­me­tres away.

“Peo­ple think it’s only Mus­lims do­nat­ing but many of the donors are non-Mus­lims. They are peo­ple from all com­mu­ni­ties of South Africa be­cause when peo­ple are suf­fer­ing, ir­re­spec­tive of their na­tion­al­ity or re­li­gion, South Africans have al­ways had a soft spot for peo­ple,” Abram­jee said.

He added that be­cause of the con­tin­ued sup­port, the or­gan­i­sa­tion would be keep­ing its pledge lines open for a few more days, and was in the process of set­ting up a vol­un­teer group of pro­fes­sion­als who would go to Syria to as­sist refugees.

“We are look­ing at doc­tors, psy­chol­o­gists and teach­ers to go there and spend a few days, whether at a trauma cen­tre or a hos­pi­tal. We’ve had a lot of re­quests from South Africans who want to go and vol­un­teer, and we will have a reg­is­tra­tion process over the next few weeks.”

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