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Benghazi local charity gives struggling women in Eastern Libya hope.

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With no fixed source of income, dozens of divorced and widowed Libyan women found new hope, thanks to an initiative led by a local charity in Benghazi.

The Amal foundation, which means “hope” in Arabic, has been targeting women whose husbands were killed in acts of violence as the eastern port city was a battlefield between 2014 and 2017, when forces linked to an eastern government fought Islamist fighters, devastating whole districts.

Women are taught to make embroidery and sell it at local markets.



Libya, once the wealthiest country in North Africa, has slipped into a spiral of violence after the toppling of long-ruling Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The capital Tripoli and western Libya are run by a U.N.-backed government mainly supported by armed groups, while the east is controlled by a rival administration.

“The idea is that we move from providing everything with the family becoming dependent (on charity organisations) and waiting for those who give food supplies like other organisations for supporting productive families,” the charity founder, Gamal al-Masraty, said.

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Nearly 50 sewing machines were donated to the factory by benefactors from inside and outside Libya, he added.

The United Nations estimates that 1.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across Libya hit by instability and local conflicts.

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Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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