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Turkish donation helps needy
22 November 2011

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Meat parcels were given to disadvantaged families in Diepsloot by a group of Turkish business people during a religious festival of sacrifice.

CHRISTMAS came early for some 500 hundred families in Diepsloot when they received parcels of meat from a group of business people from Turkey.

MMC Chris Vondo MMC Chris Vondo (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg) The event took place at a multipurpose centre in Diepsloot Extension Seven on 12 November. The parcels were donated as part of the delegation’s celebration of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim festival of sacrifice.

Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Isma’il, as an act of obedience to God, who asked the prophet to give up his only son.

During this time, those Muslims who can afford it sacrifice their best animals such as sheep, camel, rams and cows as a symbol of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son. The sacrificed animals have to meet certain age and quality standards to be acceptable.

The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: the family retains one third of the share; a third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and a third is given to the poor.

They were handing out the meat because according to their religion, they were not allowed to sleep and live in comfort while their neighbours suffered, said the leader of the delegation, Mustafa Eroglu. “If your neighbour is hungry and suffering, you should not sleep, you should help. You should share in their suffering.”

One of the beneficiaries, Libuseng Sekwati, was overjoyed with the donation. “I wish the Lord will bless them so that they continue to do what they are doing,” she said.

Another, Octavia Mabaso, only managed to say that she was happy.

Portfolio head of community development, Chris Vondo, commended the Turkish visitors for their spirit of giving and sharing with the less fortunate. He said this was an ideal example of good public and private partnership.

“Often during this time of the year, needy families experience a lot of anxiety as they have nothing to cheer them up; no presents to share or receive from loved ones, but such small gestures bring some cheer to these families.”

The City has a programme to help its disadvantaged residents. The Expanded Social Package, Siyasizana, is a basket of benefits for residents based on their level of poverty. Any person earning less than R3 366 a month residing as owner, tenant or lodger on a property in Johannesburg, can apply for the package.

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