The humanitarian aid organization, Gift of the Givers, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary on Saturday 6 August, has thanked South Africans and global citizens, for helping them, to improve the lives of distressed and vulnerable people, across the world.
The organization, at the forefront of managing disasters in the world, says it would not have been able to help millions of people, if it was not for ordinary citizens, companies in the private sector and governments, who have in the past, and continue to, extended their hand of support.
The founder of Gift of the Givers, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman says; “Because they believe in us because they trust us, we have the opportunity to help people in distress, all over the world.”
By helping others, you are helping yourself:
He added: “In reality when you are helping them, you are not really helping them, you are helping yourself. Because when you give, you actually receive and it’s very difficult to explain until you experience it yourself.”
How the organization was formed:
At the age of 30, in Istanbul, Turkey, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, received this message from his spiritual leader:
“My son, you will form an organisation. The name will be Waqful Waqifin, and that name is translated into ‘Gift of the Givers’. You will serve all people of all races, of all religions, of all colours, of all classes, of all political affiliations and of any geographical location. You will serve them unconditionally.”

– Sufi Sheikh Muhammed Saffer Effendi al Jerrahi

Following that life-changing day in 1992:

Dr Sooliman came back to South Africa from Turkey and gave up his flourishing career as a medical doctor. He then established the Gift of the Givers Foundation.

With no plans or resources in place, to start up the organization, he nevertheless, started to immediately heed the call of his spiritual leader.

More about their relief missions:

Dr Sooliman and members of the team have over the years traveled to some of the most desolate, war-torn and disaster-struck areas in the world and their relief missions have brought hope to places, where hope was in short supply, totally absent or even destroyed.

Team members have responded to the needs of countless people affected by a wide range of natural or man-made disasters. This includes floods, famine, tsunamis, earthquakes and wars.

The foundation has seen, among others hospitals, clinics, houses and wells being built or established. Also, agricultural schemes were created. Energy food was developed and manufactured, fishing boats renovated, scholarships offered and most importantly, food and shelter were provided to millions of people, over the years.

Sooliman has a message for people this year:

Try it in your life. You don’t have to go all over the world, just do it with your neighbour. Do it with your family, do it to someone in distress. Calling all South Africans, in this very difficult time, to identify those people, who need help. Do it quietly and do it with dignity. Don’t look at big things, just look at simple, small things that can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Extending immense gratitude:

On behalf of the organization, he has again lauded people, who have contributed to various causes over the past 3 decades.

“After 30 years, we can only turn to the people of South Africa and the world with absolute gratitude. We are what we are because of the people of South Africa.”

He concluded, “My spiritual teacher said, the hand can’t do the work of the eye, the eye can’t do the work of the brain, and the brain can’t do the work of the ear. Gift of the Givers is successful because all the body parts are functioning because of the support of all South Africans and people worldwide.”

FIND the story in the 7 o’clock news bulletin on Thursday 4 August 2022 on Smile 90.4FM

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They’ve raised over R3.8-billion in Aid, these past 30 years, in 45 countries.