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Anti-discrimination campaign to promote unity

by Bathandwa Mbola
on 22 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

A mass anti-discrimination campaign which will promote unity and universality for peace and harmony is to be unveiled by the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS).

The unveiling scheduled for 4 June comes as about 16 000 people have been left destitute and some injured by attacks on foreign nationals that has ripped through some parts of the country in the past week.

"It is hoped that this will promote a more long-term solution to the underlying causes of the ongoing violence," the organisation said on Wednesday.

Among other values that the campaign will promote is humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence and voluntary service as it is based on International Humanitarian Law.

Furthermore, South Africans have responded generously to calls by relieve aid organisations to make donations which will provide emergency relief to thousands of people affected by the recent acts of violence, said SARCS.

Since the eruption of the attacks, SARCS has appealed to communities for donations of about R1 million that will be spent on blankets and food as a humanitarian relief for the victims.

"By 15 May 2008, the estimated number of people who had received assistance from SARCS was 3 000. By Monday 19 May, this figure had risen to more than 6 000," said the organisation.

SARCS volunteers and staff have provided first aid and distributed food, blankets and hygiene and baby kits.

Communities can donate through the newly unveiled digital campaign that went live on Friday via the website and the 40779 sms line.

By signing up, people become part of a donor chain which more than 80 percent of the funds raised go directly to community level programming.

Thou the numbers of people responding to the plea are satisfactory; SARCS however, needs further donations.

It has urged the public to contact their nearest branch for information on what items to donate and how (see or call their national office on (021) 532-0202).

Meanwhile, the Movement for Good which aims to promote positive actions among South Africans has also appealed to communities in Johannesburg to donate nappies, baby formula and blankets to help victims.

The donations can be dropped at the St Frasis Church in Parkview and at the Rosebank Union Church.

On Saturday, a solidarity march to defend foreign nationals is to be held in Johannesburg at 9am.

People who wish to be part of this good movement can gather at Pieter Roos Park, Empire Road, near Hillbrow with their banners and placards. - BuaNews

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