Stars to help storm victims

2009-01-30 00:00

In Hurricane Katrina fashion, a host of local celebrities arrived at Durban International Airport yesterday to assist families affected by the recent freak storms in the province.

Following a call on SABC 2’s Morning Live from KZN Premier Sibusiso Ndebele for national assistance, some 40 public personalities from the television and music industries took up the challenge.

Calling themselves “Ambassadors for Change”, they have dedicated this weekend to helping out the families hit hardest by the storm that affected over 12 000 people.

“These celebrities will be helping to build 15 houses in various areas in the district, including Mkhambathini, Imbali, Vulindlela, Ubukzi and Mswathi,” said the premier’s spokesman, Logan Maistry.

Homes will be allocated to the families who are in immediate need, as identified by the district’s municipality.

The celebrities, many of whom are from the province, will also be encouraging people living in the areas to rebuild their lives, giving out food and clothing parcels and paying Pietermaritzburg’s business hub a visit to encourage business owners to support their cause.

A fundraising gala will be held at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall tonight, and an inter-faith prayer meeting at Qokololo Stadium on Sunday morning. Both events will be attended by the premier.

“Ambassadors for Change” is the brainchild of actress Sthandiwe Kgoroge. After seeing the premier on Morning Live, she contacted his office and “set the ball rolling”.

“This is not a one-off thing,” said Maistry. “This is the start of a campaign.”

In a statement yesterday, the premier expressed his gratitude to those involved, including those who have backed up the campaign financially.

“This is truly ubuntu in action … he said.

He again called on any individuals or organisations to give whatever they can to those who have been affected by these natural disasters.

Anyone wishing to provide assistance is requested to contact the Provincial Disaster Management Centre at 033 897 5670.

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