Following the resounding success of the Africa 1 Aid convoy in 2011, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and Al Quds Foundation have announced the launch of a follow up initiative. The Africa 2 Aid convoy will see the collection of much needed aid to those affected by the conflict in the Gaza Strip, most notable medical supplies.
Although the long term goal of the initiative would be the distribution of aid, MJC president Maulana Ighsaan Hendricks, said the convoy should not be seen as a relief operation, but rather an attempt to propagate the message of freedom for the people of Palestine. He said it was a continuation of their attempts to mobilise the local community, to assist those being oppressed in the region.
“We don’t merely want to perpetuate humanitarian outreach to the people of Gaza, because they have their own dignity, and they still possess the complete will to continue with life,” he said.
According to Hendricks, there would be multiple areas to the initiative, amongst them an intensification of the call for an end to the economic siege on the Gaza Strip. He reiterated the call of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, that a ceasefire could only be agreed once those restrictions on the people of Gaza were lifted.
Another unique aspect of the Africa 2Aid convoy will be the initiative to raise awareness to the plight of the Gazans, in the rural areas locally. He said they would take the suffering of the Palestinian people to them, as well as recognise the same challenges being faced in these areas.
“We want to highlight that commonality between the South African experience during Apartheid, and the Palestinian people under the Zionist occupation,” he explained.
He also called on the community to get involved in the collaborative Gaza water project between the VOC, MJC and al-Quds Foundation. The project aims to raise funds for the restoration and building of water wells in the Gaza area. The funds raised will go with the Africa 2Aid convoy to the areas in Gaza most in need.
“I ask the community to continue to contribute to that which is very important, which is the essence of life, water,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)