The Development and Alumni Relations Division is calling on all Stellenbosch University faculties to participate in its annual Faculty Trolley Challenge which aims to collect non-perishable food, sanitary products, toiletries and funds for students in need.
So far eight faculties have responded to the challenge which will form part of DAR's Campus Giving Day activities from 6 to 7 October 2022. Campus Giving Day aims to raise funds for and awareness of the Bridge the Gap (BTG) Annual Fund and its various initiatives. BTG aims to close the gap between talent and financial need by inviting the SU student community, staff, parents and friends of the university to support students in overcoming the financial obstacles blocking their path to success.
The Faculty Trolley Challenge was set in motion during last year's Giving Day when the Dean of Engineering Wikus van Niekerk and the Dean of AgriSciences Danie Brink set about raising funds for the Tygerberg Pantry Project, one of BTG's initiatives. The Tygerberg Pantry Project came about in response to the overwhelming need for food and toiletries among health sciences and medical students on SU's Tygerberg Campus.
Viwe Benxa, BTG ambassador and Alumni Participation Coordinator in DAR, said: “I'm sure this challenge will prove to be a testament to the generosity and commitment of each of our faculties. It will also serve to demonstrate the care and support we all feel for students who are struggling. It is a selfless way for faculties to get more involved in the development of students."
He added: “We'd love to see some stiff competition develop among the faculties, and we would like to encourage all staff, students and alumni to give back in any way they possibly can."
Faculties willing to get involved in the Faculty Trolley Challenge will be supplied with two boxes in which donors would be able to drop pantry items such as noodles, coffee, flour (mieliepap), oil, peanut butter, rice and tinned food. They can also donate toiletries such as deodorant, sanitary towels, razors, toilet paper and toothpaste. Monetary donations can be deposited through the Giving Day platform: https://www.givengain.com/cc/bridge-the-gap/.
According to Benxa these donations will be tallied at the end of Giving Day (7 October 2022), and will go towards supporting not only the Tygerberg Pantry Project, but also the #Move4Food and End Period Poverty projects under BTG.
“With your help, we want to equip our social workers with enough food parcels, toiletry packs and emergency funds to assist our students in the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 – peak periods of need among our students," said Benxa.
This year's Campus Giving Day will be a hybrid event open to the SU community and alumni from around the world. It will include activities such as a spinathon, a movie marathon, athletics and table tennis.
Other projects under BTG include, #Action4Inclusion which supports students who cannot register for the next academic year owing to outstanding fees; #GradMe which helps students with unpaid fees to graduate; #Zim4Zim, which ensures that students are given financial support to help clear study debt; Caught in the Middle which helps students who do not qualify for free higher education bursaries from government; and #MatiesHaveDrive which works with firms to provide part-funded driver training for students who require a driving licence to get a job.
- Faculties interested in participating in the Faculty Trolley Challenge should contact the Bridge the Gap team at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also reach out to Bridge the Gap on its various social media platforms.