Inter-faith help for the homeless

2015-06-18 08:55
At the launch of the interfaith initiative for the homeless at the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban yesterday was Iqbal Sabat of Sanzaf, Chief Trustee of the Grey Street Mosque AV Mahomed, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Luxmi Desai, Zuleikha Mayat and Shaida

At the launch of the interfaith initiative for the homeless at the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban yesterday was Iqbal Sabat of Sanzaf, Chief Trustee of the Grey Street Mosque AV Mahomed, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Luxmi Desai, Zuleikha Mayat and Shaida (Supplied)

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BLANKETS and food were handed to the homeless at yesterday’s launch of the Muslim-Christian homeless initiative at the Denis Hurley Centre (DHC) in Durban.

The launch, which took place alongside Durban’s iconic Emmanuel Cathedral, was blessed by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier and chief trustee of the Grey Street Mosque, A.V. Mohamed.

“Humanity means one family. It has no religion, no gender, no barrier. Feeding your neighbour is important. One should get together to serve God, not for name and fame, but as a duty for fellow human beings,” said Mohamed.

The Emmanuel Cathedral, through its Nkosinathi Project, has been feeding homeless people in the Warwick Junction area for many years. Similarly the Grey Street Mosque and South African National Zakah Fund (Sanzaf) through their various initiatives have been feeding homeless people in the same area.

The two faiths have joined teams to take care of the homeless on a larger scale.

“Each organisation participating in this exciting initiative brings experience, staff members, keen volunteers, donors and goodwill to the project and all share a commitment to treating homeless people with dignity and helping them restore their self-respect,” explains Raymond Perrier, ­director of the Denis Hurley Centre.

Speaking about his feelings toward the project, Mohamed said a feeding scheme for the underprivileged “is one of the greatest acts of charity to be undertaken”.

“Both faith communities recognise that feeding people is just a start and that we will also need to work together to add counselling services, training in life skills and job skills, and access to employment. The newly-established Durban Homeless Committee, based at the DHC, helps us to work collaboratively with the homeless community,” he said.

He added that he hoped that this partnership would lead to the Islamic medical team and counselling services getting on board, and could include the services of the Islamic Propagation Centre International to support the DHC in providing increased care for the inner city’s poor.

The administrator of Emmanuel Cathedral urged more faith groups to interact and assist each other.

“We need more occasions for neighbours of different religions and cultures to interact and engage with each other [to] get more involved in helping the city solve challenges like homelessness and unemployment rather than being critical of them,” he said

Read more on:    durban  |  homeless

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