Relief aid groups join forces to help in Somalia

2011-09-08 00:00

LILONGWE — An earthquake is in some ways a more merciful disaster than famine, because quakes extinguish life suddenly. With starvation, parents are forced to watch their children die slowly without being able to do anything about it.

That’s according to Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of Gift of the Givers, the relief aid organisation based in Pietermaritzburg, that has embarked on his second mission to Somalia.

It is the first time the organisation has joined hands with a Catholic NGO from Scotland to alleviate the plight of hundreds of thousands of people in Somalia.

Mary’s Meals has since 2002 provided meals to children at 302 schools in Malawi every day to improve their concentration.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow of Mary’s Meals heard about Gift of the Givers after the organisation’s first mercy mission to Somalia three weeks ago.

“We wanted to do something for Somalia because our organisation already had some involvement in the Somali refugee camps in northern Kenya, but we did not know how to access Mogadishu,” he said.

MacFarlane-Barrow called Sooliman and because of their similar views, the two immediately “clicked”.

The result was that Mary’s Meals donated about R2,1 million to Gift of the Givers to buy emergency supplies. Their donations come mainly from Scotland.

MacFarlane-Barrow this week traveled to Lilongwe, the Malawi capital, so that he could go with Sooliman to Mogadishu.

“I cannot ask people for donations when I have not seen the situation in Somalia first hand. Now I can go and see and tell the world about it,” he said.

About 35 tons of emergency supplies, including medicine and food, went to Somalia this week as part of Gift of the Givers’ mission to Mogadishu. Nearly 30 doctors, specialists, theatre sisters and nutritionists will work at the Bagadir Hospital ,which is already bursting at the seams because 700 patients are attended by just a handful of doctors.

Sooliman said the hospital staff and Gift of the Givers co-ordinator Dr Abdul Hashi will arrange that the doctors can begin work immediately.

All the necessary theatre equipment and oxygen have been flown in to ensure that the specialists can operate when necessary.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.