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Millions handed over to SA NGOS for Syria

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Almost R10-million was presented to seven charities today by #OperationSA for the #SAveSyria humanitarian efforts. The money was raised following an urgent call for donations over the past ten days. R14 110 668.00
was pledged as at 8am today.

Speaking at a cheque handing over ceremony in Houghton Johannesburg today,

#OperationSA’s Yusuf Abramjee said the response from South Africans has been over-whelming.

“People have opened their hearts and have dug deep into their pockets over the past few days. This is Ubuntu in action yet again,” he said.

Abramjee told the seven charities that the money had to be used for humanitarian aid only.

“We don’t want one rand to go towards salaries, travel, commission, etc.

“There is a desperate need for food, medicines, clothing, blankets, shelter, etc. We want to also ensure that the aid reaches the people of Syria without delay,” Abramjee said.

Six charities received R1-million each. They are the Jamiatul Ulama SA, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul Ulama KZN, Darul lslam Relief Fund/Muslim Judicial Council (SA), Islamic Relief SA and the Al Quds Foundation.

The Al-Imdaad Foundation was presented with a cheque of R3,655 000. The Polokwane Muslim Trust Welfare Fund donated R2,3m. Two other donors also requested their funds for the Foundation.

A total of R9 655 000 was paid to the charities. The balance will be hand over in January once all the money pledged is in.

Representatives from the organizations thanked #OperationSA for mobilizing at very short notice and for raising the millions of rands.  They said #OperationSA united NGO’s.

Abramjee said the “recall rate has been excellent. Over 70% of the money pledged and was paid into the special account within a week.”

He said “doing good should become a way of life. We at #OperationSA are looking at ways of assisting people in need in South Africa next year also on a massive scale.”

Yaseen Theba from #OperationSA said everyone from NGO’s to Womens’ Groups, companies, individuals and school children have donated.

“We have seen South Africans from across the spectrum donating. This money is going to go a very long way to assist the people of Syria,” added Theba.

He said the multi-channel media broadcast last Tuesday evening raised just over R10m. “Some R4m was pledged via SMS’s, Whats App and on-line.”

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has also thrown her weight behind #OperationSA.

She said “the biggest mistake we can make is doing nothing” and has placed her full support. She was also announced as a patron of #OperationSA.

Scores of young children, some donating their spending money, also called-in to the pledge lines last week. A Pretoria family, who did or want to be named, even cancelled their planned holiday to donate to #SAveSyria.

Al-Imdaad’s Projects Coordinator Qari Ziyaad Patel said: “Our teams on the ground are ready to facilitate the relief efforts on behalf of #OperationSA and with the experience and transparency we have it will indeed be and eye opener for the group.

“The situation and difficulties faced by the Syrian people is without doubt the worst humanitarian crisis of our time and together this initiative from #OperationSA will make a huge difference.”

A container filled with essential items such as food and clothing left Johannesburg today.

The Al-Quds Foundation said a second container was being prepared for January.

Speaking at the “Container Sealing Ceremony” in Ennerdale, Abramjee thanked the many donors. “You are going to help thousands of people. We salute you for caring.”

#OperationSA is continuing to take pledges. SMS or WhatsApp 072 3 99 99 99 or on-line

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