SA firm donates R5m to Haiti

2010-01-29 11:54

A CAPE Town based business on Friday presented a R5 million

donation to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

“Our only hope is that these funds find their way to the most

vulnerable members of the community and somehow help them in their quest to

rebuild their shattered lives,” Nazeem Ebrahim, Oasis Group Holdings marketing

director told the press on Friday.

A quake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit the impoverished

Caribbean nation on January 12, killing an estimated 200,000 people.

The company had provided assistance in the past following disasters

such as the south-east Asia tsunami in 2004 and the Mozambique floods in


The cheque was handed to Dr Imtiaz Sooliman from humanitarian aid

organisation Gift of the Givers.

This was the biggest single donation the 18-year-old organisation

had received, he said. The R5 million would be spent on medical supplies and

equipment such as an X-ray machine.

Gift of the Givers had a medical team of 53 people in Haiti.

Sooliman said: “What you see and what you hear does not adequately

describe the horror of what is on the other side. Pictures do not capture the

stench of decaying corpses, they do not capture the total scale of devastation.

“It does not capture the brokenness of a child that is standing

with no parents around it, it does not capture the horror of amputation and

diseased limbs, it does not capture broken adults and women staring all the time

with emotionless eyes and broken hearts and no smiles.

“That emotion can never be captured on television, in print media

or on radio. It can only be captured live when you see it for yourself.”

The South African teams who had been there had found it very

difficult, he said.

Sooliman had spoken to his team on Thursday night. They said they

could not sleep and would need trauma counselling. They will return home on


A new team would be sent out once an assessment had been


Ambassador for the department of international relations and

co-operation Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, conveyed the government’s appreciation for

the collective effort of the South African people and thanked Oasis for its


The department would provide assistance with the distribution of

the funds to ensure they reached those who needed it most.

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