Gift of the Givers: Founder of largest disaster relief group in Africa says South Africans need to love

Gift of the Givers: Founder of largest disaster relief group in Africa says South Africans need to love

- The founder and chairman of Gift of the Givers, Imtiaz Sooliman, talked to Radio 702 about the work his organisation during disasters

- Dr Sooliman spoke about how his team made history by becoming the first team from an African origin to save a woman's life 8 days after an earthquake

- He then spoke about the issues tearing different races apart in South Africa and how it can be fixed

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Eyewitness News reported Gift of the Givers is a non-governmental organisation, which Dr Sooliman founded 26-years-ago. It has since become the largest African disaster relief group.

Talking to Radio 702 radio host, Dr Sooliman explained just what it is his organisation does.

Dr Sooliman said a lot of the countries the organisation has been to were disasters before a disaster struck.

He pointed out Somalia, where the wold concentrates on the conflict in the country but forgets about the people living there.

The people who stayed in Somalia faced psychological factors as well as poverty and hunger, and those who left to find better futures for them, had their families split.

His organisation travelled to the country and took a broken and worn out building to set up a medial centre.

He recalled having children walking in from hundreds of kilometres away, the journey was so tough the kids had to leave their weak, hungry and thirsty family members behind because they did not have the power to make it.

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Dr Sooliman talked about the poor quality of medical services there and how South Africans helped patients who were waiting almost nine months to be helped.

For Dr Sooliman and his associates, helping other is about love and saving lives.

Their team made a world first when they became the first African team to save a woman's life after she had been trapped under rubble for eight days after an earthquake in eastern Africa.

"The first thing the woman said was 'I love God', the second thing she said was 'I love you'", Dr Sooliman said.

The team also contributed hugely in the Somali drought, where they saved hundreds of lives.

Dr Sooliman then spoke about the unity problem in South Africa- which he blames on politics. He said politicians wanted South Africans to focus on the anti-love instead of the love between each other.

He pointed out Nelson Mandela, who had every right to be vengeful, but instead he stood for unity among all races in the country.

Dr Sooliman said the country needs to use the right dialogue and allow people to build on a relationship based on unity.

He said in his organisation they help different people from different races, and they do not judge them- they love the people unconditionally just the way they are.

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