In a record feat, a pledge line by the five-day old NGO #OperationSA to assist with humanitarian efforts in Syria raised over R10 million within five hours. The #SAveSyria campaign was launched at the weekend following calls to assist victims in Aleppo and other parts of war-torn Syria.
Social activists Yusuf Abramjee, Yaseen Theba and Catherine Constantinides are among those behind #OperationSA. The pledge line on ITV channel (DSTV 347) and several radio stations saw almost 800 callers pledging.
From 7.30pm, pledges started rolling in and just after midnight, the pledge-line closed at a whopping R10 030 000. The biggest single pledge was R2m from the Polokwane Muslim Trust Welfare Fund.
Scores of young children, some donating their spending money, also called-in.
The money is to be distributed to seven local charities who are doing humanitarian work in Syria. They are the Al-Imdaad Foundation, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul-Ulama SA, Jamiatul-Ulama KZN, Al-Quds Foundation, Muslim Judicial Council and Islamic Relief SA.
“South Africans and foreigners opened their hearts. The donations will go a long way to ease the pain and suffering of Syrians,” said Yusuf Abramjee from #OperationSA
“We witnessed Ubuntu in action yet again. The response from the public has been amazing and we will ensure that every rand raised is used for humanitarian relief such as food, blankets, medicines and shelter,” added Abramjee.
Yaseen Theba from #OperationSA said the pledge line was a “major success.”
“The phones did not stop ringing. The shocking images from Syria also prompted many callers to donate. The over R10m raised in such a short period of time shows we are a caring nation,” said Theba who directed the Call Centre Operations.
Catherine Constantinides said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you. South Africans never stop to amaze. They dig deep into their pockets and they always make a difference. We have hearts of gold. I am proud of my colleagues at #OperationSA, the many volunteers and sponsors. Well done also to the media for supporting the cause.”
Abramjee said a delegation was planning to visit Syria soon to look at conditions and the relief work underway. The Al-Imdaad Foundation is co-ordinating the visit.
#OperationSA will continue to work locally and internationally by engaging with partners, donors and communities “to develop projects that bring relief, hope and dignity to some of the most vulnerable people.”
On-line pledges are still coming in and the public can continue donating on the website www.operationsa.org .
Donations can also be made via Whats App and SMS: 072 3 99 99 99.
#SAveSyria banking details.
AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION
BR CODE 220325*
*Must mention Zakaat, Lillah etc.
Send Proof to firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE ABOVE REF NUMBER.
On social media, you can follow the campaign on: