The pain-etched faces of Syrian children covered in blood touched South African children and drove them to donate their piggy bank savings to their Middle Eastern counterparts.
South Africans were the largest number of donors that contributed to the R9.6-million collected within a week as part of Operation SA, social activist Yusuf Abramjee said on Wednesday.
"A large number of donors are children, children calling in, children saying I'm taking my R50 money box and you can take the money from my spending money," Abramjee said.
One child, who called during a multi-channel pledge on ITV, donated R600 of their spending money to the people of Syria.
In another heartwarming story, a family who had planned a trip worth R15 000 decided to rather donate the money to help Syrians.
"This tells you we are a loving nation, we are a caring nation. We are a nation with heart. People decided to dig deep and to donate purely for humanitarian effort."
Abramjee said Operation SA had decided to move with urgency to aid Syrians. It gave out its first R9.6-million to different charity organisations.
He appealed to charities to use the money to urgently to help the people in the war-torn country.
"My appeal to the charities today: there is no time to hoard money in your bank accounts... We hope you are going to use this money and report back to the people of South Africa on how the money was used."
The charity organisations which were tasked to help the people of Syria with the donations, included Islamic Relief SA, Jamiatul Ulama SA, Jamiatul Ulama KZN, Africa Muslim Agency, Al Quds Foundation, and the Al Imdaad Foundation.
Each of the beneficiary organisations received R1m, with the exception of the Al Imdaad Foundation which received a little over R3-million.