As many South Africans took time off to enjoy the Christmas season with loved ones and delicious meals, not all South Africans were as fortunate during this Christmas period. However, in the true spirit of Christmas, humanitarian efforts of kind-hearted citizens in Pretoria put smiles on the faces of some of Capital’s less fortunate.
The United Arab Emirates Embassy in Pretoria, on Christmas day, partnered with two Pretoria food entrepreneurs, Pizza Pilgrims' Nicky Geerts and the owner of Pretoria’s Harlequin Restaurant and Baracas Wine and Beer Bar, Frits Brune in funding a Christmas lunch for some of the most vulnerable residents in the capital.
The Christmas initiative, headed by Nicholas Geerts and Frits Brune is in its third year. The initiative was also the last humanitarian initiative for the UAE Embassy in Pretoria, under the UAE’s 2019 Year of Tolerance theme.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, proclaimed the year 2019 to be the "The Year of Tolerance" in the UAE, highlighting the UAE as a global capital for tolerance, and emphasizing tolerance as a universal concept and a sustainable institutional endeavour through legislation and policies aimed at entrenching the values of tolerance, dialogue, coexistence and openness to different cultures, especially amongst youth, which will reflect positively on society as a whole.
The Year of Tolerance embodies the approach adopted by the UAE since its establishment to be a bridge of communication between the people of the world and their various cultures, in an environment of openness and respect that rejects extremism and promotes coexistence.
The Christmas initiative was held at the St. Martin de Porres Church in Sunnyside Pretoria, where the UAE Embassy sponsored lunch for 600 people including the elderly, homeless and children from the local community.
Nicholas Geerts said the festivities at the Sunnyside Catholic Church – which traditionally opens its doors to the needy on Christmas Day - will enable the beneficiaries to relax and enjoy some good, nourishing food and remind them that they are not unloved or forgotten.
Ms. Fatima Al-Suwaidi, Chargé d'Affaires of the UAE Embassy, stressed the importance of tolerance and the spirit of giving regardless of race, religion or nationality. Sunnyside Catholic Parish Priest, Father. Evantus Kene thanked the Embassy for making this important day a memorable and joyful one for those less fortunate.
© Copyright 2020 Laudium Today.