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Johannesburg - In the true spirit of Christmas, a group of Pretoria citizens gathered to make the holy day a bit more festive for the city's homeless. 

They were joined with the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Pretoria, as well as food entrepreneurs, Pizza Pilgrims' Nicky Geerts and the owner of Pretoria’s Harlequin Restaurant and Baracas Wine and Beer Bar, Frits Brune.

The Christmas initiative, headed by Geerts and Brune, was held at the St. Martin de Porres Church in Sunnyside Pretoria, where the UAE Embassy sponsored lunch for 600 people including the elderly, homeless and children from the community.

It was the last humanitarian initiative for the UAE Embassy in Pretoria, under the UAE’s 2019 Year of Tolerance theme. 

The Year of Tolerance embodies the approach adopted by the UAE since its establishment to be a bridge of communication between the people of the world and their various cultures, in an environment of openness and respect that rejects extremism and promotes coexistence.

Geerts said the festivities at the Sunnyside Catholic Church will allow people to relax and enjoy some good food and remind them that they are not unloved or forgotten.

Fatima Al-Suwaidi, Chargé d'Affaires of the UAE Embassy, emphasised the importance of tolerance and the spirit of giving regardless of race, religion or nationality.

IOL