Bringing warmth to the needy this winter

At the handover in Denchworth Road, Gleemoor, from left ar regional manager of Africa Muslims Agency, Hussain Choonara, with Jarryd Philander, and principal of Ned Doman High School Gwynne Philander, who received 40 blankets and 20 winter-warmth packs.

More than 600 people received some relief this winter from the Africa Muslims Agency, which donated blankets and winter packs to the less fortunate.

The handover took place in Denchworth Road, Gleemoor, on Saturday June 26. Twenty organisations collected the donations to distribute to those in need. About 420 blankets and more than 190 winter packs, with a double blanket, gloves, socks, scarves, hats and masks, were handed over.

Taariq Parker, marketing and events co-ordinator at Africa Muslims Agency (AMA), said: “We have reached the coldest weeks of winter in South Africa, and thousands of people living on the streets are suffering through bitterly cold and wet conditions, trying to find any means of getting warm.”

AMA’s Winter warmth campaign had been running for 34 years, giving thousands of winter packs annually to community organisations that distribute them to schools, hospitals and old-age homes, amongst others, he said.

Donors contributed money to AMA which was used to buy the winter packs costing R280 or blankets at R130.

Ned Doman High School principal Gwynne Philander said he had handed out the blankets and winter packs from Monday June 28 until Wednesday June 30.

“Our pupils are really in need of this relief, and there are many more who still need this as the harsh cold wet winter weather settles in. Any person who is able to contribute to the well-being of the next person should really do it. It is important to help the next person and for children to understand the value of humanitarian work,” he said.

Representatives of various organisations in the Western Cape were addressed by regional manager of Africa Muslims Agency, Hussain Choonara.

“With a blanket, we are providing a mother with enough comfort to breastfeed and nourish a child. We need South Africans with means to donate towards such a campaign so that we can alleviate the suffering of our neighbours and bring them some comfort during the extraordinarily difficult times in which we are living,” he said.

The donations eased the harsh consequences of Covid-19 that had affected many households, he added.

“The health and economic effects of Covid-19 are compounding an already difficult winter for those without blankets, heaters or housing that is adequate to keep out the cold. Too many South Africans live without an income or knowledge of where their basic daily necessities will come from,” he said.

Community worker Thomas Michael, from Fairways, handed over blankets and winter packs to Victoria Hospital children’s ward, CPOA Erica Place in Athlone and Lotus River, Beit-ul-Aman old age home in Wynberg and FG Lowe Village in Hanover Park.

“All of the recipients sent me thank-you letters so they are really grateful. In most of these homes their families can’t see them because of Covid, so I help where I can,” he said.

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