African Anglicans Lend Support to Haiti

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is one of several members of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa that is supporting the 'Africa for Haiti Campaign.' (Photo: WCC/Peter Williams)

Members of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa have joined hands with several prominent figures from the African continent in a campaign to support the tragedy-torn country of Haiti.

Archbishops Njongonkulu Ndungane, Thabo Makgoba and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu have been the primary clergy members supporting the "Africa for Haiti Campaign," which is also receiving endorsement from Graça Machel, human rights activist and wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela, as well as African businessmen Trevor Ncube and Reuel Khoza.

The campaign has already received over $4 million in pledges, with most of the large bids coming from African governments such as Congo, who pledged $2.5 million to the campaign, and Senegal who offered $1 million.

Several charities and relief organizations are also involved in the campaign including CIVICUS, the African Monitor, Trust Africa, the Southern Africa Trust, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Southern Africa and the South African Red Cross Society.

In a statement released on Friday, Tutu noted, "We were supported wonderfully by the international community when we struggled against the vicious policy of apartheid. Today the people of Haiti, struck twice by the earthquake, are in a worse predicament than we were."

"As South Africans, we especially ... want to do our bit to alleviate the immense suffering of our sisters and brothers in Haiti. I welcome the initiative by Graça Machel and others. It deserves our wholehearted and very generous support."

Makgoba also offered his support to the initiative, saying, "Across the continent of Africa over the years, so many of us have been the recipients of all manner of aid and support through many differing circumstances of need. Now it is Africa's turn to stand in solidarity with the country and people of Haiti, and offer whatever assistance lies within our ability, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes."

"One of the great riches of Africa is the spirit of ubuntu - the spirit that says 'a person is a person through other persons.' Now is the time to demonstrate our humanity through selfless generosity and tangible action."

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