On World Refugee Day, held every year on 20 June, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.
Looking Back…Helping a stranger.
It was 10 years ago that the Jewish community rallied to help a group of displaced refugees, sheltering outside of the Caledon Police Station in the freezing rain. Victims of xenophobic attacks, the Cape Board under the leadership of Li Boiskin at the time, were approached by the TAC to assist this group of 180 people.
Viv Anstey, the current Vice-Chairman, worked tirelessly with group of concerned Jewish women to raise funds and provide safe shelter and daily provisions for ‘the Caledon Square Group’ who were housed in the Herzlia Weitzman School Hall. Along with providing temporary relief to the refugees, Viv and her volunteer team were able to facilitate the repatriation of 20 Burundi nationals, raise funds for the refugee camps in the region, organise collection of food and essentials as well as reintegrate the group back into society.
The noble efforts of the Cape Board were recognised by an invitation to attend a seminar in Pretoria, hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council and the British Consul General, to review and discuss the crisis and its aftermath.