“We will always stay strong and stand together again and again,” the organizer of the fundraiser said.
Rabat – New Zealand’s Sikh community has donated $39,000 (NZD $60,000) to the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack.
The two consecutive attacks on mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15 left 51 people dead. Since then, over $650,000 has been raised for the surviving victims of the attack and the families left behind.
The latest donation comes from New Zealand’s Sikh community, who rallied together during a 5-day Facebook appeal for donations. The $39,000 from the Sikh community came from 1600 total donations.
The donation was presented with a cheque to Lianne Dalziel, the Mayor of Christchurch on Wednesday, 12 June at a function in Christchurch. The local Muslim and Sikh communities were present, including representatives of the two affected mosques, Linwood Islamic Center and the Al Noor Mosque.
Auckland-based Jaspreet Singh Rajpura is to thank for initiating the fundraiser on March 16, with the support of Sikh Supreme Society.
“No amount of money can change what has happened, or bring back the lives lost. But we can offer our support to victims and their families, so they don’t have to bear this burden alone,” he told Australian news outlet SBS Punjabi.
“This couldn’t have been possible without community support. Thank you, everyone. Hope we will always stay strong and stand together again and again.”
The generosity comes as a moment of brightness just 3 days after the perpetrator of the attack, a 28-year-old Australian man, pleaded not guilty to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one terrorism offense in the Christchurch High Court on June 14.
A trial has been scheduled to begin on May 4, 2020, and prosecutors estimate it may run for up to six weeks.