News Release

Bringing Light to Those in Need

Members of the Bedfordview Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Johannesburg joined over 40,000 volunteers worldwide on Mitzvah Day 2015, with their project "Bringing Light to the People." The project brought church members and missionaries together with other faith-based groups, including Bet David Shul, to provide light to others and to support the local community. 

In keeping with the theme of Chanukah (Hanukkah) where the Jewish community celebrates the Festival of Lights, this allowed an opportunity to bring lights to families living in squatter camps in the Bedfordview area. The campaign was aimed at making a difference to many who live in abject squalor and poverty in the dreadful squatter camps that are such a blight on society. These families have no access to electricity, no lights, no heating, and are forced to rely upon paraffin lamps which, while being fairly ineffective, are at the same time frighteningly dangerous and have resulted in tragedies too numerous to mention. 

The project began on 22 November 2015, with the distribution of lights at the Assemblies of God Church in Katlehong, where 150 lights were given to those in need. On 24 November 2015, members, missionaries, volunteers and the Union of Jewish Women (UJW), joined together and distributed 60 lights to the Alex Aids Orphan’s Project. This was a special day for all those involved, and allowed volunteers to bear witness to the difference a light can make to those in need. The remainder of lights that have been donated will be distributed in February 2016 through the South African Friends of Israel. 

Leaders of the Bedfordview Ward expressed sincere gratitude to those families and individuals who contributed and were involved in the project. They also thanked the UJW for the chance to partner together, ensuring the resounding success of this valuable project.

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