Would you like to help Stellenbosch University (SU) to make a positive difference during this COVID-19 pandemic? The University has identified five priority areas where staff, alumni, donors and friends of the University could lend a helping hand.
Says Karen Bruns, Senior Director: Development & Alumni Relations: "Even during these unprecedented times for all of our internal and external stakeholders - we are looking to highlight how everyone can continue to support our essential work through their philanthropic giving - especially now that we're all confronted with the added impact of COVID-19.
"We in the Development & Alumni Relations Division at Stellenbosch University are hopeful that, as the world recovers from the impact of this pandemic, we will all have a stronger sense of solidarity as staff, students, alumni and donors."
The priorities identified are as follows:
Digital Access for SU students
We have decided to focus on digital access for our students to give them the tools to complete online learning and teaching. A recent survey indicated that around 880 students urgently require support in order for us to successfully move into online teaching and learning. Each laptop costs up to R8 000 per student. Can you lend a hand to address this challenge and stand with our students during this period and make a gift to support this urgent priority?
We will be enhancing our support for our student-led #Move4Food campaign to curb student hunger. Not knowing where the next meal will come from is a reality for many South Africans, including our SU students. The bleak reality is that a lack of access to affordable and nutritious food on South African campuses is rife and Stellenbosch University is no exception. Your support of the #Move4Food campaign not only touches our students' lives every day, it is also a powerful and exemplary demonstration of your commitment to transforming the lives of young people.
Support for SU Healthcare workers
Our SU healthcare workers are working on the frontlines of this pandemic and also need our support. This would include personal protective equipment, food stations, anything related to reducing the risk of contamination (separate tea and coffee stations, for instance) and logistical support. Can you make a difference here?
Research & Innovation Response
In line with our strategic framework and the focus on research for impact, we remain committed to supporting the global pursuit to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. SU is involved in a range of efforts to fight this pandemic - from developing a method for preventing and treating microbial growth on manufactured products including packaging materials, to a synthetic pharmaceutical in the test phase as a supportive agent for the treatment of Acute/Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The list goes on! At a time like this we're reminded how much the world needs science – of all types – and how the production of knowledge is in everyone's best interests.
Stellenbosch University has partnered with the wider Stellenbosch community under the umbrella of #StellenboschUnite. Through this partnership, we are working on procuring and distributing food and provision parcels to vulnerable community members. The project aims to procure and distribute a minimum of 2 500 food and provision parcels per week to vulnerable community members. To secure the 2 500 parcels, the initiative requires a minimum of R250 000 per week. Your support would ensure that we can make a contribution to this cause.
Also visit the new COVID-19 Relief Funds website for more information: https://www.matiesalumni.com/covid-19/