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Dream comes true as new
Denis Hurley Centre opens
Refugees, the poor, needy and homeless people will find a welcome at the Denis Hurley Centre, which was opened by Cardinal Napier on 11 December last year.
The Centre is the realisation of the dream of the late Archbishop of Durban, who devoted his life to serving the most vulnerable people of Durban from the adjacent Emanuel Cathedral.
In his opening speech, Cardinal Napier paid tribute to the many donors who raised the money for the building.
"The parish raised more than R1.2 million," he said, "which is incredible, given most people's circumstances. " Money was raised from all over KwaZuluNatal, South Africa and abroad.
The new centre has a fully-equipped primarly health care clinic, a food kitchen and hot showers for the use of homeless people – as well as conference facilities, meeting rooms and a coffee shop, aimed at generating funds to help run the centre.
Manager of the DHC, Jean-Marie Ntambubano, fled his native Burundi at the age of 17 to avoid conscription into the notorious children's army. After an epic journey on food, he arrived in Durban starving and desperate, and Archbishop Hurley took him under his wing.
"I had no English," he said, "Only Kirundi and some French. But the Archbishop spoke fluent French and he got me into a Christian school. After I matriculated,he helped me find accommodation and food.
"He saw that there was a great need for an office for refugees and he opened on at the church, where I worked as a volunteer."
Years later, the need is even greater.
Thousands of people live on the streets of Durban, including hundreds of asylum seekers who have fled violence and oppression in other African countries.
If you would like to make a donation online now, it will go towards this ongoing work.
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