What can you actually do for victims of xenophobia?

2015-04-20 17:00

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Photographs of Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole being brutally stabbed to death during a xenophobic attack have horrified South Africa and the world. And still, news of attacks around the country flood in.

Many people have taken to social media to voice their outrage and sadness, and while this can be helpful in serving as an outlet for our emotions, there is a great deal more that can be done.

Here are three ways you can take action against xenophobia and help displaced victims and their families:

1. Get involved in a march

There are dozens of anti-xenophobia marches taking place this week. Marching against xenophobia not only shows that you are against these attacks, but that you are in solidarity with its victims. Here are just a few that you can join:

LeadSA #NoToXenophobia March

Tomorrow, April 21, 7pm

Constitution Hill, 1 Kotze Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

March for Peace against Xenophobia

Wednesday, April 22, 12pm

Nelson Mandela Bridge, Johannesburg

Dress all in black

People’s March Against Xenophobia – We Are One

Thursday, April 23, 1pm

Pieter Roos Park, Corner of Victoria Avenue and Empire Road, Johannesburg

There are 30 000 people expected at this march.

Peace March Against Xenophobia

Monday, April 27, 7am

Sammy Marks Square, 314 Church Street, Pretoria

Marchers are urged to come with a flag of any country, dress in colourful “African” clothing or wear a white shirt and jeans to symbolise peace.

2. Donate food and items

The Facebook group Joburg Against Xenophobia has provided information of goods needed at camps for displaced victims of xenophobia.

Below is the post from Joburg Against Xenophobia on what is needed and where you can drop it off:

What is needed?

Toiletries (specifically toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, sanitary products, sanitary pads and towels)

Baby food (Purity bottles and formula)

Bedding (mattresses to sleep on and blankets)

Babies’, children’s and adults’ clothes

Long-life milk

Bread

Peanut butter or jam

Sugar, tea and coffee

Canned foods

Salt

Biscuits

Juice concentrates

Potatoes

Onions

Disposable nappies

Toilet rolls

Dry food, especially rice and beans

Paper plates and cups

If you’re able to bring toys or creative equipment for kids, please try ensure it is something all the kids can share – for example, loads of paper and buckets of crayons.

Where can you take it?

» Transit refugee camp at Christ Church Mayfair, corner Park and Main Reef Roads (opposite Dragon City);

» The Gift of the Givers at 43 Mint Road in Fordsburg (only open working hours);

» The Gift of the Givers Logistics Centre or distribution centre, at 22 Orchard Road, Bramley View; or

» Bedfordview Methodist Church Distribution Centre, corner of Van Buuren and De Wet streets, Bedfordview, Germiston.

Click here for a full list of additional drop-off points near you. The group also has a list of people willing to pick up donations and take them to the camps and churches.

The following organisations are focusing their efforts on anti-xenophobia action. Follow them on social media for more info:

African Diaspora Forum

Awethu!

Cormsa

Equal Education

Médecins Sans Frontières

Section27

Sonke Gender Justice

The Nine Plus Unions and Friends (including Zwelinzima Vavi)

United Front

Wits University SRC

3. Donate money

Gift of the Givers is offering specific relief aid to victims in Joburg. You can make a donation to: Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, account number 052137228, branch code 057525.

The information is mainly related to activities in Johannesburg. The Daily Vox has put up information on how you can take a stand against xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

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