Turkish organisation puts smiles on Zim families

By Thabani Dube

Harare – At least 1,250 needy families in the marginalised areas of Hopley, Dzivarasekwa Extension, Norton, Stapleford and Mahusekwa (Thompson Farm) recently received food hampers from a Turkey based organisation, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

TIKA did the programme in the country in conjunction with two local organisations; Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe (SCIAZ) and Islamic Information Bureau (IIB) during the last week of the month of Ramadan from 9-11 June 2018.

The director of Zimbabwe National Zakat Fund (ZIMNZAF) and also secretary general of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe (SCIAZ), Sheikh Henry Balakazi said the distribution of food hampers was a beginning of a journey to alleviate poverty and hunger among Zimbabwean people.

“We are working with our Turkish sister organizations to alleviate poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe and we have quite a number of long term empowerment and development projects lined up, in the areas of education, health and income generating programmes,” he said.

Balakazi said they will soon build schools, clinics and vocational institutions in an effort to complement government’s blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).

TIKA is a humanitarian organization working in Zimbabwe through the Turkish Embassy in Harare, ittt   has 58 offices in 150 different countries across the world.

Last year it donated US$50,000 to Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), distributed 1000 food hampers and drilled boreholes in communities facing water shortages.

Adam Wadi, the director for Islamic Information Bureau said the relationship between the people of Turkey and Zimbabwe was ever growing.

“The cooperation with Turkish organisations is growing big and bigger, with some organisations starting new programmes. This year we have 17 boreholes and 100 bush pumps to drill across the country in needy areas.

“With another organisation we last year sunk four electric powered boreholes with capacity of between 10,000 and 20,000 litre tanks with Marondera getting one, Chinhoyi two and Mazowe one,” said Wadi.

Atilla Cem Karamollaoqlu who led the TIKA team that visited the country during the last week of the month of Ramadan in Zimbabwe to distribute the food hampers said his organisation was open to any Zimbabwean organisation or communities working in humanitarian work.

“We do humanitarian work and in 2017 we donated US$50,000 to HIT and we hope to uplift the lifestyle of our fellow Zimbabwean people like we do in other 150 countries in the world,” he said