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Efforts to restore ‘dignity’ to Imizamo residents on Human rights day

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Thousands of residents of Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay gathered at the astroturf football field on the corner of Main and Victoria Avenue opposite the township today to receive much needed relief from the non-governmental organisation, Thula Thula. Volunteers distributed clothing, toiletries, baby essentials and blankets to 5 756 people who have yet to receive relief.

Thula Thula Hout Bay says Human Rights Day on Tuesday March 21 is the perfect time to support efforts to restore the dignity of the victims of the Hout Bay fire.

“The opening sentence of the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” said Thula Thula spokesperson Casey B Dolan.

“This perfectly sums up our goal to ensure that those affected by the fire have their dignity restored.”

Dolan added that a relief effort of this magnitude was daunting, but donations kept pouring in and with the assistance of a generous community Thula Thula has been able to see to the immediate needs of thousands of people left destitute.

“However there is still so much work to do as every person, no matter their nationality or economic background, deserves to be able to live with dignity,” she said.

Volunteers packing blankets and other essentials

Efforts made by Thula Thula have helped almost 15 000 affected by the devastating fire on 11 March. This is the third distribution made by Thula Thula,. With many volunteers assisting distribution checkpoints, residents were made to feel most welcome. They were also given the choice of clothing they wanted, and were not simply given hand me downs. Goods included clothing, blankets, hygiene essentials and toiletries.

Dolan said the support has been overwhelmingly positive, while calling on people to not stop donating, as there is still a long way to go.

“The last weeks have been a roller coaster ride of generosity from the donations of people.”

She added: “Besides waiting for the council’s approval to build, we want to contribute to a better standard of living for all residents here. It is their human right. It is a restoration of dignity for us as South Africans.”

A tent accommodating displaced Imizamo residents

This is Thula Thula’s biggest operation to date. Separate operations have also been conducted by a myriad of relief organizations, each focusing on a specific area of need. This includes sleeping tents and places to bath as well as to wash clothes.

For information, visit Thula Thula Hout Bay on www.thula-thula.org or Facebook. VOC


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