Humanitarian Aid from a South African Tribe to Armenian Orphans – 1921

Humanitarian Aid

As a result of the collective work of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, a rare document was found that testifies to the provision of humanitarian aid to Armenian orphans by one of the South African tribes in 1921.

One of the reverends of the South African Independent Church on behalf of his community of 250 people made a donation to help the Armenians who had suffered from the Turkish pogroms.

This document is a unique testimony of humanism which has no limitations and boundaries. Below is the unchanged content of the document (translated from Russian).

Those in need of help have become benefactors.

“Not long ago, one African tribe adopted Christianity, its ideals, and goals. Having learned about the needs of their Christian brothers by chance, they made a donation to the organization “Near East Relief” to provide the hungry Armenians with food – in the spirit of their new enlightenment.

During the trip depreciated neither the funds nor the kindness that inspired the act of such spiritual wealth. Moreover, the distance gave a picturesque quality that enhanced its value and usefulness.

J. D. Mbengo-Nyangi, Reverend of the South African Independent Church with about 250 followers, sent us a photo. The men depicted in the photograph are members of this community whom he persuaded to overcome superstition and appear before the camera.

In the photo in the forefront are the “red” followers, who paint their bodies with red clay and walk naked. Those who stand in the background wear suits and collars, but two years ago, they were no more civilized than their brothers and sisters. Regardless of their level of civilization, Christian virtue was in their hearts, which saved their Christian brothers. Their virtue is worthy of gratitude.”

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