Disasters of the magnitude of this week’s earthquake in Türkiye and Syria starkly remind us of our vulnerability, as human beings, and our obligations to one another as members of an inter-dependent species.
When disaster strikes a village, neighbours rally around.
The world is these days termed a global village due to human technological ingenuity; now is the time to demonstrate that although it is largely economic interests that glue the global village together, it has retained its human heart. For, a village without people is not a village.
“The children we have been seeing pulled from the rubble in Türkiye and Syria could be our own,” said chairperson of the Archbishop Tutu IP Trust Dr Mamphela Ramphele.
“Much as we are conscious of South Africa’s enduring economic challenges, and the abundance of poverty and unemployment at home, we appeal to those with the means to assist the medical relief efforts of our extraordinary flag-bearers, Gift of the Givers,’ she said.
“We equally encourage people around the world to support international agencies providing relief to the people of Türkiye and Syria, such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent.”
Türkiye has an urgent need for medical facilities, as hospitals in the quake region have been destroyed. Gift of the Giver’s solution is to establish field hospitals in safe buildings, because it’s too cold for tents. Once established, besides medical staff, the hospitals will require medicines and consumables.
In Syria, Gift of the Givers already runs two hospitals established during the war. The organization presently has 320 staff on site at the two hospitals. It is also assisting search and rescue operations and preparing meals for survivors.
“Archbishop and Mrs Tutu have been great admirers of Gift of the Giver’s work,” said Chair of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Niclas Kjellstrom-Matseke.
“It is an organization that embodies our inter-connectedness. Its courageous and dedicated staff and volunteers will reap rich rewards because, as the Arch said, when we help others’ we also help ourselves,” Kjellstrom-Matseke said.
To contact Gift of the Givers, call its toll free line 0800786911 or email email@example.com.
* This statement was jointly released by Archbishop Tutu IP Trust and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
For more information please call Benny Gool 082 5566 556 or Roger Friedman 079 8966 899 (Tutu Trust); or Ntombenhle Shezi 078 7598 318 (Tutu Foundation).