Supporting those in need in Zim

2019-01-23 06:01
St John’s Diocesan School for Girls in Scottsville is a drop-off point of relief items to be sent to Zimbabwe. Pictured are Kyra Singh, Nongcebo Malevu, Dani Stockley and Shaye Stockley. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

St John’s Diocesan School for Girls in Scottsville is a drop-off point of relief items to be sent to Zimbabwe. Pictured are Kyra Singh, Nongcebo Malevu, Dani Stockley and Shaye Stockley. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

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PIETERMARITZBURG residents have come together in an effort to send aid to Zimbabwe amid the serious turmoil currently taking place in the region. A group of locals have already begun collecting medical supplies with a view to sending them to the country soon.

Zimbabwe was plunged into turmoil last week when members of the public began protesting over increased fuel prices. This led to President Emmerson Mnangagwa declaring a crackdown on protesting.

Activist groups have indicated that hundreds of people have been arrested for protesting since last week.

The situation is severe and communication platforms, like social media, are currently reportedly offline in the country.

Prominent local baker Cheryl Govender is one of the people behind the collection efforts in Pietermaritzburg.

Govender said individuals, churches, schools, pharmacies, and ambulance services have already pledged their support.

“We are trying to get our message across that people need help.

“People are being abused and those trying to help are being prevented [from doing so]. The violence is very bad,” said Govender.

“One of my staff left for Zimbabwe last year and she is in correspondence with us. Apparently aid is being prevented from entering the country.

“People are doubting that we can get the goods into the country, but we are making every effort to do so,” she said.

ITEMS BEING COLLECTED FOR THE RELIEF PACKAGE INCLUDE:

General medication

Pain killers

Bandages and gauze

Anti-inflammatory medication

Anti-nausea medication

Sanitisers

Soap

Medical gloves, cotton wool and disinfectants.

Items can be dropped off at The Cake House at 14 Wilkes Road in Prestbury, St John’s Diocesan School for Girls in Scottsville, Merchiston Preparatory School, or at Craik Speirs Salon at Cascades Mall.

“We’re asking for basic things that people take for granted,” Govender said.

Meanwhile, Gift of the Givers said they were on standby and awaiting instructions from their branch in Zimbabwe.

The organisation’s Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said they have been struggling to communicate with the Zimbabwe office, but noted Gift of the Givers will engage with the South African government before providing relief.

Activist groups have indicated that hundreds of people have been arrested for protesting since last week. The situation is severe and communication platforms, like social media, are currently reportedly offline in the country. Prominent local baker Cheryl Govender is one of the people behind the collection efforts in Pietermaritzburg.

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