Faizel Patel
2 minute read
10 Apr 2022
12:00 pm

Turkish officials, NGOs come together to assist SA’s needy in Ramadan

Faizel Patel

Organisations collectively distributed more than 3 000 Ramadan grocery hampers in South Africa.

Photo: Supplied

As the Islamic month of Ramadan enters its second week, the Council of Muslim Theologians has partnered with Turkish Governmental Agencies, the Diyanet Foundation (religious affairs), TIKA and other Turkish NGOs to assist those in need.

The organisations collectively distributed more than 3 000 Ramadan grocery hampers in South Africa.

The blessed month of Ramadan is not only a month of abstaining from food and drink, but also a month of being more compassionate and charitable to others.

Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Ayşegül Kandaş (Aisha Gul) said the social affairs council at the Turkish embassy together the Diyanet Foundation undertake food distribution projects in 83 countries globally during the entire month of Ramadan.

“I was very happy to meet with the women, especially our sisters, to share this space of cooperation, dialogue and in accordance with the spirit of Ramadan, this space of giving and receiving… It is about really love and helping each other, and I am so happy to be part of this spirit.”

Gul said they want to extend the project to other parts of South Africa for years to come.

Social Affairs Counselor and representative of Diyanet, Ahmet Yilmaz, said although there are borders and distances between South Africa and Turkey, the two country’s hearts are bound together.

“There is no difference between our homeland and the land where our brothers live. Because we believe that the best person is the one who is beneficial to others. In this direction, as the Türkiye Diyanet Foundation, we will continue to stand by our brothers and sisters with all our means.”

Yilmaz also conveyed the love and peace of the Turkish people who live thousands of kilometres away.

“Those hearts and souls are always here with their brothers and sisters, in particular the President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Professor Dr. Ali Erbaş, the President of the Presidency of Religious Affairs and Türkiye Diyanet Foundation Board of Trustees.”

The Council of Muslim Theologians, which is the implementing partner of the food distribution initiative, said the programme is about joining hands with others to assist those in need.

“We are grateful to the Turkish people for their generosity and kindness to the people of SA, and we look forward to ongoing partnerships between the Council of Muslim Theologians and the Turkish people for the broader benefit of the country.”

During the month of Ramadan, a number of organisations make concerted efforts to assist those less fortunate.

Last month, Lenasia-based NGO Saaberie Chishty Society kicked off its Ramadan of Hope Campaign, distributing much-need food hampers in several areas in the south of Johannesburg.

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