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Op-eds

Supporting humanitarian causes in Israel and SA

  • WIZO
Shalom Chaverot, February was an exciting month for all South Africans with the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa. We wish him and his Cabinet successful and positive deliberations.
by MOONYEEN CASTLE | Mar 08, 2018

It was also an exciting month for the Women’s International Zionist Organisation as our World WIZO president, Esther Mor, visited the various WIZO societies in South Africa, accompanied by Moonyeen Castle, who heads up WIZO SA.

Mor was on a whirlwind tour and made a positive impression wherever she went. Those attending events at which she spoke were captivated by her dignity, her sincerity and her commitment to helping disadvantaged Israeli women and children.

In Johannesburg, Mor enjoyed a warm Shabbat dinner and delivered addresses to guests at an elegant cocktail party as well as to members of WIZO who attended the organisation’s annual Ladies Day event, where journalist Jacques Pauw was also a guest speaker.

Mor experienced WIZO Pretoria’s hospitality when she met with its executives and members, before being whisked off to her next stop – WIZO Durban, followed by WIZO Cape Town.

She spoke at these societies’ respective AGMs, proving herself as a dedicated leader and an inspiring example of selfless giving and caring. A big thank you to all those who so generously gave of their time and hospitality to make Mor’s visit a memorable one.

To coincide with her visit, 50 colourful, lightweight, child-sized wheelchairs from Israeli non-profit organisation Wheelchairs of Hope were distributed by WIZO SA to disabled children in South Africa.

The inexpensive, low-maintenance wheelchairs were developed as part of a humanitarian mission to help children with disabilities in developing countries. The wheelchairs bore stickers with the message, “To the children of South Africa with love from Israel”, and were donated to hospitals, schools and churches around the country in the presence of the Israel ambassador to South Africa, Lior Keinan, and his deputy Ayellet Black, as well as Mor, WIZO members and senior staff of the recipient organisations. We offer our thanks to the donors of the wheelchairs.

Like Queen Esther, whose heroic story changed the lives of Jews forever by uplifting us all, so too did Mor’s human stories of upliftment and caring inspire us to do more as Jewish women.

Another parallel can be drawn between Purim and International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8. Queen Esther’s courage and leadership resonate with the many courageous women worldwide who continue to be denied basic human rights and who suffer abuse in their societies.

WIZO continuously strives to protect the rights and freedoms of women and children in Israel. We also support South Africa’s Human Rights Day, commemorating the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, on March 21.

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