23 May 2008
As the police and the army move to contain the violence against foreign nationals in parts of the country, a growing number of South Africans are taking action against xenophobia, and stepping up to help the thousands of people displaced by the violence.
“The recent upsurge of violence in Johannesburg calls for a response from everyone, not only government and the police,” the Movement For Good says on its For Good website.
The For Good website offers practical ways for ordinary people to help the victims and to bring a permanent end to the violence.
Places where members of the public can drop off food, blankets or clothing, where they can go to volunteer their help, or how to make cash contributions, are all listed on the site – along with stories of what For Good members are already doing in response to the situation.
South Africans have been responding generously to calls by relief aid organisations to help provide emergency relief to those affected by xenophobic attacks.
The South African Red Cross Society said the support of the public had, by Monday, enabled it to provide assistance to more than 6 000 people. Red Cross staff and volunteers, working in shifts and “often in dangerous and difficult conditions”, have been providing first aid and distributing food, blankets and hygiene and baby kits.
More donations are still needed, however, and the organisation has urged the public to visit the Red Cross website or call their national office on 021 532 0202 to find out what and how they should donate.
Meanwhile, a march in solidarity with foreign nationals it to take place in Johannesburg on Saturday, starting at the Pieter Roos Park on Empire Road, near Hillbrow, at 9am.
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