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Disaster relief arrives for residents

THE humanitarian organisation, Gift of the Givers (GOTG), has reached out to the community of Alice in the Eastern Cape after a severe hailstorm hit the town on Sunday, February 2.

A 28-year-old mother, Noluthando MaJiba, died when a church wall collapsed on her during the storm, while several residents were left homeless. Strong winds ripped roofs off houses and schools and flattened fences in three wards of the town.

The foundations are all that are left of a day-care centre in the Hillcrest area.

Shortly after reports of the storm started showing up on social media on Sunday evening, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder/CEO of Gift of the Givers, had a team mobilised to bring aid to the victims.

The team arrived at the municipal offices on Friday, where they received a hearty welcome from Raymond Mhlaba Municipality’s Mayor, Bandile Ketelo, and a large gathering from the community.

“The is not the first time GOTG has come to our aid,” said Ketelo.

“We are aware of their constant drought relief efforts in communities like Adelaide and Bedford, and we appreciate that this organisation, whose efforts stretch all over the world, have also reached out to the victims of this tragedy.”

Ali Sablay, project manager for GOTG, says the organisation is proudly South African, and disaster relief is their speciality.

“Since Gift of the Givers’ inception about 27 years ago, we have been blessed to provide over R2.3 billion in aid.

“We are privileged to be able to reach out to the victims in your community, and we extend a word of thanks to our partners, Coca-Cola, who sponsored food packs, as well as Woolworths and The Foschini Group, who donated sleeping bags and blankets.”

SASSA officials, the Department of Social Development and Department of Health all assisted in identifying the worst affected victims, and 175 families received much needed supplies, including mattresses and school stationery to assist children whose school supplies had been destroyed in the storm.

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