Gift of the givers marks 26 years of inspired aid

ESTEEMED local charity organisation Gift of the Givers has celebrated its 26th anniversary this week by giving aid after calamities and helping to meet needs in emergencies.

The organisation, which has sent experts and supplies to help after quakes and liaised in the release of hostages, is currently focusing on the ongoing drought conditions in many parts of South Africa, and has been delivering fodder to farmland and drilling boreholes.

They are also providing aid after the great Knysna fire in 2017, and have to date delivered fodder, food for pets, and assisted in bee rehabilitation after 22 million bees perished in the fire. The organisation’s founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, said celebrating their 26th year was a magnificent feeling.

“We’ve built a lot of relationships across race, culture, religion, and across countries and continents. There are so many people who have joined our cause and we’re getting bigger and bigger.”

Sooliman said the organisation had inspired dozens of other organisations and individuals to engage in charitable work. “People tell us directly that we’ve inspired them and they want to follow us ... They want us to teach them and give them advice. We get lots of people writing to us telling us this.”

For Sooliman, it has been a tried and tested formula that has brought the organisation success over the years. “For 26 years we never planned our next move,” he said.

“A spiritual teacher told me that in everything you do, you will know what to do. I have followed that, and we [Gift of the Givers] always just did what was in front of us. Why change it?

“We’ll carry on like that for the next 26 years,” he said.