Founder of Gift of the Givers Dr Imtiaz Sooliman. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Founder of Gift of the Givers Dr Imtiaz Sooliman. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Gift of the Givers prays for social cohesion as it rings in 29th anniversary

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Aug 6, 2021

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Durban: KZN humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers celebrates its 29th anniversary today.

Director Imtiaz Sooliman said it had been an adventurous journey, delivering R3.8 billion in humanitarian assistance to millions of people.

He said the aid had extended to more than 44 countries and that Gift of the Givers had offered assistance during conflicts and natural disasters.

Sooliman said that in SA, the NGO was providing water in drought-stricken areas; dealing with Covid-19 requests from multiple health facilities, supporting orphanages, old age centres, homes for the physically and mentally challenged; upgrading hospitals and schools; delivering fodder and nutritionally enriched pellets to animals and providing food parcels to the hungry.

He said the primary focus was dealing with the challenges of the civil unrest and looting of three weeks ago.

“The economic and social challenges since lockdown on 27 March 2020 and the fallout from the current unrest necessitates a deeper view of the difficulties we face as a nation.”

Sooliman said prosperity to posterity was possible but demanded a patriotic, altruistic, all-encompassing and committed approach from all 60 million or so of our people.

“The rainbow of our diversity should not be an impediment to development nor an instrument for conflict or disorder but rather an opportunity to draw on our strengths, as a multi-ethnic community with the psyche, skills and spiritual values embedded in our genetic make-up which could easily be drawn from the 200+ countries globally, given the diversity of our ancestry.

“The reality is that we are united in our blood and our genetic make-up but that unity is not fully manifested in our individual, societal and national interaction.

“Undoubtedly, the thread that needs to weave this unity and understanding is spirituality.

“The hallmark of spirituality is caring, compassion, generosity, sharing, ethics, integrity, honesty, forgiveness, annihilation of ego, greed, miserliness and self-centredness.

“Our view of fellow beings should not be… (made murky) by fear or bias based on race, colour, ethnicity, political affiliation or social strata but based on love, understanding and appreciation of the challenges we face as individuals and communities.”

Sooliman said Covid-19 had taught us that nothing in life was certain, that the wheel of fate turned and those endowed could become recipients overnight.

“The only certainty that never fails or disappears is spirituality and good deeds. South Africans, it is time for us to find each other genuinely, sincerely and permanently, where development and harmony, not destruction and discord, are the order of the day.

“On this 29th anniversary of Gift of the Givers we pray for the unity in our blood and genes, inherited from our diverse ancestry, to be manifested in social cohesion unconditionally.”


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