Organisation provides hope to refugees

Director of the Gift of the Needy, Faiaz Majid, sees to one of the distressed refugees.

Majid and his team worked at the Port of Lesvos and outside the Moira refugee camps, providing aid and relief to traumatised refugees. Together with other aid organisations and volunteers, they were able to supply blankets, water, and food to them.

Majid said, “It was a fulfilling experience punctuated with a lot of heartache and sorrow.  But it was also rewarding as we got to help many refugees.  We met refugees with heart-wrenching stories of fear, loss and pain.”

Majid and the team spent six weeks in Greece and worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Red Cross and other aid organisations.  They assisted Kurdish, Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, some as young as one-year-old babies to 80-year-olds.

Faiaz Majid assists a child refugee off one of the boats.

Faiaz Majid assists a child refugee off one of the boats.

Majid recalled assisting two penniless couples and in both cases the wives were pregnant.  He paid for their travel fare and took them shopping for clothing, handbags and shoes so that they could travel with dignity.  A heart-breaking moment for Majid was having to bury the dead.

“Some bodies were in an advanced state of decomposition.  I can still remember the pain of a dad who came to bury his 14-year-old son who had drowned a few days earlier.  It was sad to meet people whose homes and properties were destroyed and whose lives changed overnight, forcing them to embark on a perilous trip to face an uncertain future if they survive the journey.”

Despite being surrounded by tragedy and adversity, Majid instilled hope and put smiles on the faces of many distraught refugees, young and old.  “We were able to comfort and being smiles to those in distress by alleviating their hunger and offering a warm blanket in freezing weather conditions.”

The director also sponsored a generator that was used by doctors to perform surgeries in the medical camps. Majid said they hope to return to Greece to in two months to continue with relief efforts.

“We also hope to extend our daily breakfast programme to other indigent communities and will be assisting with drought relief through their Gift of Precious Liquid Project,” he said.

The organisation is appealing to members of the community to donate towards the projects.  If you wish to help, visit Gift of the Needy is based in Overport and was established in 2009.

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