The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, has lent his endorsement to the widely supported "Africa for Haiti" campaign, launched at a press conference on 22 January by Mrs Graça Machel.
The text of the Archbishop's statement is as follows:
I am glad to give my wholehearted support to this important initiative.
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. In South Africa earlier this week, Church leaders from across the Christian spectrum joined in calling for a generous response to this suffering which we can only begin to imagine, and we welcomed the commitments that our own Government is making, alongside the growing help from individuals and organisations.
Yet we can and must do far, far, more. Now is the time for all Africans to join in helping these brothers and sisters of ours within the human family. We urge our political leaders not to be slow in joining the tide of compassion in response to this disaster. We too can show love and care, not only in words, but in providing financial and practical help, in sharing resources and expertise, especially in the challenging times of reconstruction that lie ahead. Therefore we look to the African Union Summit to express what it means truly to be 'Africans for Haiti'. 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. It is therefore my prayer that the Summit will have the courage and conviction to make specific and significant commitments, which are then swiftly and effectively implemented.
And in this way, may God in his mercy use us as a channel of blessing and love to those who stand in such great need at this time. Amen.
Note: This aims to identify, in partnership with Haitian civil society organizations, initiatives through which Africans from all walks of life can demonstrate their collective solidarity and support for the people of Haiti thereby uniting Africans in compassion and giving. Mrs Machel has suggested that the "Africa for Haiti" campaign focuses its efforts not on immediate relief but rather to contribute toward the medium to long-term reconstruction of communities in Haiti. As a result, it is estimated that fundraising for this campaign may continue for six months. The campaign is also urging African leaders to make tangible and generous commitments at the African Union Summit of January 25 to February 4 2010. More details are available at http://www.civicus.org/civicus-home/1226 and http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81808_118736_ENG_HTM.htm.
Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Inquiries: Cynthia Michaels on 021-763-1320 (office hours)