After three weeks of intense rallying of the Cape Town community, the Muslim Judicial Council’s Women’s Forum will do the final packing of the shipping container bound for the Syrian/Turkey border on Saturday.
Thanks to the donations received from the community, the container, this group of passionate community workers from different backgrounds and organisations under the #CTWomen4Syria project managed to fill two containers with relief aid. The aim of the project was to collect essential goods for women and children, that are very often overlooked by aid organisations. These include tinned foods, underfelt for carpets, nappies, baby food and sanitary packs for women.The containers will leave from R&T Potato Wholesalers, Benbow Avenue, Epping for the Cape Town Docks on Saturday at 3pm.
“Alhamdullilah, everything has come together with the grace of Allah SWT. We are humbled by the generosity of the Cape Town community and those across South Africa who rallied their families, friends, schools and neighbours to donate toward this very important project,” said Forum spokesperson Mualima Gadija Allie.
Meanwhile, the MJC Women’s Forum and their partners will be leaving the shores of Cape Town on Sunday to participate in the Conscious Bus Convoy across Turkey.
The bus convoy will consist of women from different religions, backgrounds and professions and will carry embroidered scarves which they will tie to the border wires and present as a gift to the Syrian women during their visit to the refugee camps. The convoy is significant as it coincides with International Women’s Day on 8th March.
The MJC Women’s Forum said the convoy will be symbolic and draw attention to the suffering of women who are being tortured, raped, executed, imprisoned and made refugees since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011.
The convoy is also a call on the Syrian government to release all girl and women prisoners unlawfully held in Syria. There are no official figures on how many women have been held in government prisons, or by any other group in the country. But a report released in November last year by the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that more than 8,400 females, including 300 girls, are currently in government jails.
Around 5,000 more are reportedly being held captive by groups such as the so-called Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. Many of these women face brutality and sexual violence while in detention. But the struggles they face upon their release – ostracism, shame, broken relationships and health issues – can often be even harder to cope with. The women activists want the brutal plight of women caught in conflicts and wars to be effectively dealt with.
The convoy will start its journey from Istanbul and will pass Izmit, Sakarya, Ankara, Konya and Adana before reaching the Syrian borders returning to Istanbul on 9th March 2018.