The South African Council of Churches (SACC) will dispatch a container of relief supplies to churches in Zimbabwe next week as the first outcome of "Operation Hope for Zimbabwe".
At 14h00 on Monday, 1 August, the SACC will hold a press briefing at Khotso House (62 Marshall Street, Johannesburg) at which member denominations will announce their pledges to the campaign. The Council will provide more details about the contents of the relief shipment and the progress of the ecumenical initiative.
The SACC announced the launch of Operation Hope for Zimbabwe last week, following the return from Harare of its second pastoral delegation in recent weeks. The campaign is designed to:
- Provide immediate relief -- in the form of blankets, food, water and medicine -- to all affected by Operation Murambatsvina, but particularly the most vulnerable sectors of the society: those living in transit camps, the elderly and women with children;
- Explore ways of providing shelter for those who have been made homeless by Operation Murambatsvina; and
- Work with other international agencies, such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF and UN-HABITAT, to promote long-term development in Zimbabwe.
The SACC General Secretary, Dr. Molefe Tsele, reiterated that Operation Hope for Zimbabwe is being managed and co-ordinated by South African churches, working together with Zimbabwean churches, international humanitarian organisations and the affected communities within Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwe is not directly involved.
Following the announcement after last weekend's cabinet lekgotla that the South African government will channel its contributions through the SACC initiative, discussions are underway to explore appropriate ways for the South African government to assist the operation.
Contributions to Operation Hope Zimbabwe may be deposited to SACC Emergency Relief Trust, Account Number 1979 410 526, Nedbank, Fox Street Branch, Branch Code 190805, Swift code NEDSZAJJ. Donations should be identified by writing "HOPE ZIMBABWE" in the reference line.
The Council is also working to set up an SMS contribution system as a matter of priority.
For more information: Bishop Ivan Abrahams (082 781 8389) or Mr. Eddie Makue (082 853 8781)
27 July 2005