Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
SEVENTH-DAY Adventist Church youths donated blood in Bulawayo over the weekend in a record breaking donation for Matabeleland region.
The church commemorated its Global Youth Day on Saturday by combining community service with reaching out to the people.
As part of celebrations to mark the day, Bulawayo youths from the church donated blood at the City Hall.
More than 3 000 youths were in attendance and over 300 managed to donate blood.
National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) Matabeleland region public relations officer Mr Sifundo Ngwenya described the donation from the SDA Youths as a record breaker from faith based organisations.
He urged other churches to follow suit.
“Saturday’s response was just overwhelming. It was definitely a record breaker of all time. We managed to see 318 blood donors but managed to collect 263 pints of blood in one afternoon,” said Mr Ngwenya.
He said they had to turn away potential donors because of time.
“Due to the unavailability of time, we had to turn away more potential donors as we did not have the capacity to cater for many donors at a time. We are however, engaging with the organisers to set up an appointment with those whom we turned away because the blood bank needs every pint,” Mr Ngwenya said.
He said the donation of blood by youths would help save many lives and comes at a critical time ahead of the Easter holiday.
Mr Ngwenya said the holiday is usually characterised by increased demand for blood owing to road traffic accidents.
“We are grateful to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church which continues to partner with us through the years. They helped us meet adults who for many years have been reluctant to donate blood while they need more compared to youths. Last week we got a lot of blood donations from SDA youths in Mzinyathini and we have appointments with SDA youths in other districts. We have been called in Lupane, Tsholotsho and many other places,” he said.
Mr Ngwenya urged adults to donate blood as the blood bank was bound to be affected by the introduction of the new curriculum which increased the number of activities that children have to participate in on a daily basis.
“The blood we have in our bank comes mainly from school going children but 80 percent of it is needed and used by adults. We therefore call on members of the public to come forward and give blood to secure their future health,” he said.
Apart from donating blood, Seventh-Day Adventist Church Global Youth Day’s activities included street marches, lifestyle and health lessons on diabetes, nutrition and cancer awareness presentations. Free BP and Blood Sugar tests were also on offer.
In his address to the youths that thronged the Large City Hall, the Southern African Division Youth Director for the SDA church, Pastor Busi Khumalo, who was the key speaker, said youths have the power to make a positive impact on the world.
“Sharing life through donating blood symbolises Christ’s sacrifice for us. Churches are among some of the easily accessible and organised platforms for the harvesting of blood and the general development of societies,” he said.
“There is a lot more to religious faith than simply going to church and listening to sermons. The true practice of religion involves the revelation of God’s love in living out Jesus’ gospel commission.”