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Colleagues team up for fundraising success team up for fundraising successDevelopment & Alumni Relations<div>​Stellenbosch University (SU) academics and senior leaders have taken up the opportunity to gain valuable fundraising insights at a recent upskilling workshop hosted by the Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR). The workshop, in its second year, aims to equip participants with the skills and insights to solicit philanthropic funding.<br></div><div><br></div><div>This year’s workshop, entitled “Develop your fundraising pitch”, ran from 22nd to 26th April at the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses and was coordinated by the Major Gifts & International Engagement unit within DAR. The week-long voluntary practice development sessions attracted participants from SU’s faculties, schools, and institutes.</div><div><br></div><div>Graeme Byrne, UK-based consultant at DAR, and founder of Lagotto Solutions, says it was heartening to see colleagues embracing the upskilling initiative.</div><div><br></div><div>According to Byrne, the job of fundraising at universities is not just for the fundraisers. "The philanthropic fundraising initiatives of the university will only be strengthened when DAR continues to partner with academics to raise the profile of the university. Therefore, many of the sessions focused on showing academics how they should go about interacting with fundraisers and how fundraisers should interact with academics. If it is done well, it means that the organisation is more likely to raise big gifts. So much of this is about building the right teams and working well together."</div><div><br></div><div>Byrne, who works with universities throughout the world to help them raise philanthropic income more effectively, says the aim is also to take the fear out of fundraising.</div><div><br></div><div>"I work with a lot of academics, and I always ask them, ‘What scares you about fundraising?’, and the response most often is the thought of being stuck opposite another person asking them for money. That thought can be quite daunting, but the truth is that most of the time they will be working with fundraisers who have years of experience in the field. The idea is that we will work with you to develop relationships and to identify the right time to ask for money.”</div><div><br></div><div>He says when you ask people to consider new ideas or do things that they haven’t done before, there is always a danger that it can be met by a level of cynicism. "But that was not the case when DAR presented the first upskilling programme in 2023, and judging by this year’s attendance, the programme continues to grow from strength to strength."</div><div><br></div><div>Director of Fundraising at DAR, David Marupen, says the upskilling programme was introduced to foster collaboration between DAR and SU colleagues, and to upskill and expose them to best practices that will help attract philanthropic support for projects and initiatives.</div><div><br></div><div>"We wanted to reach as many of our colleagues as possible through this programme because it also ties in with the long-term Strategic Fundraising Plan that we are developing. This strategy aims to not only guide our fundraising activities within DAR, but also within the broader institution," he says.</div><div><br></div><div>According to Marupen, the success of the programme has prompted DAR to plan and host more workshops in the future, ensuring this valuable training reaches a broader audience. ​<br></div><div><br></div><div><em>Photographer:  Ernest Birkenstock<br></em><br></div>
Irshaad's journey to success's journey to successDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>Irshaad Ahmad Parker's participation in the Stellenbosch University SciMathUS university preparation programme changed his life and taught him this profound life lesson: where you start out does not necessarily dictate where you will end up.<br></p><p>The SciMathUS programme gives high school learners who have already passed Grade 12 but do not qualify for higher education selection, a second opportunity to improve their National Senior Certificate results in mathematics, physical sciences and accounting. This will enable them to re-apply for university programmes.<br></p><p>Irshaad, who hails from the Cape Flats suburb of Grassy Park, explains: “The community I grew up in is not very supportive of youngsters pursuing their studies and one can easily get caught up in the elements the area is plagued with. But by equipping me with qualities such as punctuality and attention to detail, the SciMathUS programme made me realise that I am responsible for my own success. It helped me to unlearn the ingrained but mistaken belief that the circumstances I grew up in would determine where I would end up. This was a hard lesson to learn, but I am glad I did because now I believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to."</p><p>He has no qualms about advising others to consider the SciMathUS programme.<br></p><p>“The programme gives you an opportunity to improve your marks while enjoying the full-on student experience. This offers a great advantage if you decide to study at Stellenbosch. Furthermore, many matriculants rarely ever know what they'd like to pursue as a career nor what their interests are. SciMathUS offers you the opportunity to find your niche, and what you'd like to pursue academically."<br></p><p>Irshaad says SciMathUS helped him to find his academic niche and the discipline to be successful in it.<br></p><p>“The programme helped me to realise that I have a passion for Biology, and after improving my math and physics marks, I enrolled for a BSc in Human Life Sciences at SU in 2017. This option was a great way to enter the sciences and helped to quench my thirst for understanding biological phenomena. Thereafter I pursued an honours degree in Biochemistry. This was a sensible option as Biochemistry offers a great variety of fields to explore."<br></p><p>During that time, he also distinguished himself in other areas, thereby exemplifying the programme's philosophy of delivering well-rounded, capable students and individuals.<br></p><p>“During my undergraduate years, from 2017 to 2020, I stayed in Helderberg Men's Residence. There I was a mentor for two years, chairperson of a critical discussion forum and served on the first year committee. In addition, I served on the Natural Sciences Committee as a social representative in 2020. I was class representative for numerous Biochemistry modules (214, 315, 345). At the end of my undergraduate studies, I completed my degree with a 73% average, securing me a scholarship for my honours year. During my honours year I lived at Huis De Villiers and received an award for being a section representative. I successfully completed my honours year, graduating cum laude. All of this was completed while working part-time for an international company (, launching a business (Local Cape Roots), developing another (Sprout Smart) and working on a contract basis as a project manager at family business Churchill."<br></p><p>In December 2023, Irshaad obtained his master's degree in biomedical engineering cum laude, also at SU. <br></p><p>“Upon the completion of my BSc Hons, I had set my sights on pursuing an MEngSc in Biomedical Engineering. This choice followed deep contemplation of future career prospects and personal development.<br></p><p>“When you think about a master's degree, one immediately thinks about research articles and experiments. While that is a great deal of mastering, the actual mastering is that of oneself. Principles such as discipline, time management and accountability, are really what the master's is about, for me at least."<br></p><p>He has signed a contract with the Panthera Conservation Organisation, where he will be taking point as their Conservation Support Coordinator. Using the skills from his research project, he will join the Panthera team in the fight against the loss of big cat biodiversity. “Our team will be implementing cutting edge machine learning techniques to track, monitor and protect big cat species in our wild parks," he says.<br></p><p>“When I think back to my SciMathUs days, I cannot believe the person I was. The transformation over these years has been incredible. I am so thankful and grateful for the opportunities and effort many of the SciMathUS staff put into me (you know who you are). I hope my success has brought you joy, and you can rest easy knowing that all that patience really fuelled my academic career."<br></p><p>He hopes, in his way, to be an example to the youngsters back home who are still stuck in the cycle of entrapment that he was so fortunate to escape.​</p><p><br></p>
Bringing SA 'bottled sunshine' to Germany SA 'bottled sunshine' to GermanyPia Nänny<p>For Sabrina Majchrzak, a semester at Stellenbosch University was more than just an adventure, it was a life-changing experience that eventually led to the creation of an online wine shop, with the aim of sharing the joy and pleasure of South African wines in Germany.<br></p><p>During her time as an international student in South Africa in 2018, Sabrina fell in love with the country – the vibe, the cultural diversity, the community mindset, and the outdoor life – and after her return to the Bochum University of Applied Sciences in Germany, she encouraged as many people as possible to visit.</p><p>“Honestly, I never thought that a country or study experience could be so inspiring! I think my friends had a tough time with me, because all I could speak about was South Africa, Stellenbosch, South African wines, South African food, South African nature, South African people and how amazing and beautiful it is."</p><p>Back home, she wanted more of the South African vibe in her everyday life.</p><p>“Especially during COVID times, I wanted to bring the joyful, bright, and vibrant atmosphere to grey and cold Germany. That's when the idea for 'bottled. South African Wine & Soul' was born. After some research and based on my direct personal experience, I found that my beloved South African wines were really hard to get in Germany."</p><p>During a second visit to Stellenbosch at the beginning of 2023, Sabrina took a chance to pitch the idea of an online wine shop to some of her favourite wine estates, who were all very supportive and happy to cooperate. A few months later, she had a business licence and an online shop, which she launched in August 2023.</p><p>“With 'bottled. South African Wine & Soul', a dream came true – I sell my favourite SA wines, which are always hand selected with a personal story behind them, online in the German market. Because it is a side business only, I can put all my passion and love into it, without being financially reliant on the success, for now."</p><p>Some of the wineries featured on her website are: Lanzerac, Delheim, Durbanville Hills and Lievland.</p><p>“At the moment, I am doing a lot of wine tastings which is a brilliant way to connect with people, share my stories and experiences, increase awareness of SA wines, and build a customer base. We'll see where this journey will go, but at the moment I am just happy to bring a bit of my SA experience to more wine lovers here in Germany," says Sabrina, who works as User and Customer Experience Manager at the international headquarters of the highest-revenue supermarket discounter in Germany.</p><p>According to Sabrina, people are very curious about South Africa. </p><p>“I always share my personal experiences, which are 100% positive. However, the question about safety comes up quite often. I always explain that speaking for the Cape region, I never had a situation where I felt unsafe, and that Cape Town requires the same attention as any other big city. The people that I meet are very open-minded and I think for them it is a great opportunity to get information, especially in terms of tourism, first hand. My aim is to be transparent, inform, clear up prejudices and inspire, and secretly get everyone addicted to South Africa!"</p><p>Website: <a href=""><strong></strong></a>​</p>
Alumna makes meaningful contribution to #Move4Food makes meaningful contribution to #Move4FoodLyndon Julius<p>​​Marilet Daniel, a Stellenbosch University (SU) alumna, proudly represented her home town of Rawsonville when she recently completed the Berlin Marathon 2023. Not only did she check an item off her bucket list, but she also made a meaningful contribution to SU's #Move4Food campaign.<br></p><p>Marilet, who studied towards a BAcc degree and graduated with honours in 2007, reflected on her time at SU, acknowledging the relief that came with the end of her studies and appreciating the doors her SU qualification opened.</p><p>“Completing a marathon has been in the back of my mind for some time, and when I was successful in getting a lottery entry for Berlin, it was rather a case of Berlin picking me than the other way around," Marilet says. “Alison April, Director for Europe: Fundraising and Alumni Relations, suggested using the marathon as a fundraising platform, shifting the focus from personal accomplishment to doing good for others."</p><p>The #Move4Food campaign, which supports students with healthy meals for focused studying, resonated with Marilet and raised her awareness of the privileges she enjoys as a South African in Amsterdam.</p><p>As for the reason behind her fundraising for #Move4Food, Marilet emphasises, “Being South African and now living in Amsterdam, you are reminded daily of how fortunate you are to have ample opportunities, of which we take food on the table almost for granted. My commitment stems not only from a sense of duty but a genuine understanding of the impact this campaign can have on students facing challenges.</p><p>“The Berlin community responded overwhelmingly to my fundraising efforts, and before I knew it, I reached my target! I received so many messages of support and people loving the fundraising initiative," Marilet says gratefully.</p><p>Marilet describes her approach on setting and exceeding her fundraising target as follows: “I did not view me potentially not achieving the target as a challenge or failure; every euro contributed is a euro more than what we had the previous day, and it could make a difference.</p><p>“The Berlin Marathon itself was a memorable experience for me. I was a bit nervous before the race but calmed myself down by realising how fortunate I am to be healthy enough to run, and on top of that, a world marathon major course a few hours after Eliud Kipchoge set off! The most memorable moment was passing through the Brandenburg gates with the crowd cheering, that literally gave me the chills!"</p><p>Looking ahead, Marilet envisions participating in future fundraising efforts. She describes her passion for education-related causes as follows: “I would love to do the Tokyo Marathon at some point and will use that as yet another opportunity to raise funds. Education is quite close to my heart, and any campaign that will help support children and students in securing a better future has my unconditional support."</p><p>Marilet's connection to SU is rooted in gratitude rather than obligation. She appreciates the University's initiatives and the ease with which alumni can contribute.</p><p>“I am thankful for the support. I loved every second of preparing for the Marathon and raising money, the latter was just the cherry on top. My experience is that we can make a meaningful impact no matter how small, when we combine personal achievements with a commitment to social good."<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Shining the spotlight on our Matie volunteers the spotlight on our Matie volunteersDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p></p><p><em>It's International Volunteer Day and with over 600 Matie volunteers making a remarkable impact, we'd like to shine the spotlight on a few volunteers whose unwavering commitment and passion strengthen our global Matie network.</em></p><p><a href=""><em><strong>International Volunteer Day</strong></em></a><em> is celebrated annually on 5 December and serves as an opportunity to recognise and appreciate the invaluable contributions of volunteers worldwide. The day highlights the impact of volunteering on various social, economic and environmental issues, emphasising the power of individuals to make a positive difference in their communities.</em><em> </em></p><p>Three remarkable alumnae, <strong>Lani Swart, Tania Coetzee and Mariaan Venter</strong>, who are based in the United Kingdom, are on a mission to give back through their involvement with the Stellenbosch Women Alumnae Network (SWAN). The three embarked on the London-to-Brighton Cycle Ride to raise funds for SU students and reached their target of £1 000 in no time.<br></p><p>Matie alumnus <strong>Allan Boyle</strong> has conquered the formidable challenge of climbing 10 000m across various peaks in support of widening access to education. His goal was to conquer 10 000m of mountain climbing and at the same time raise €10 000 (R200 000) that would go towards bursary support for a student studying a postgraduate degree at the School of Data Science and Computational Thinking.</p><ul><li>You can still support him by donating here: <a href=""><strong></strong></a> </li></ul><p><strong>Sarah Camp</strong>, a final-year medical student from the Tygerberg campus, arrived in Hillcrest just outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal on 4 November after cycling from Worcester - for ten days – a distance of more than 1 500 km. Inspired by Prof Thuli Madonsela's efforts to assist students with university debt, the young doctor-to-be completed this phenomenal journey to raise funds for #Action4Inclusion, a student debt alleviation initiative by SU's Centre for Social Justice. </p><ul><li>At an average of 150 km per day, she had completed a Cape Town Cycle Tour plus, every day for ten days. </li></ul><p><strong>Marilet Daniel</strong> ran the Berlin Marathon and raised awareness and much-needed funds for the University's #Move4Food campaign that aims to combat food insecurity among students at SU. Marilet, who works as a chartered accountant in Amsterdam, had no problem reaching her target of 1 000 euros.</p><p>The <strong>Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences</strong> supported students living with food insecurity by hosting a 'Spring Table' event at Reuben's Restaurant & Bar in Franschhoek on Heritage Day.  A part of the proceeds of the event – which is the brainchild of <strong>Prof Karin Baatjes, Vice-Dean: Teaching and Learning</strong> – will be used to minimise food insecurity among students in the faculty.</p><p>“Through dedicated volunteerism during the Cape Town Cycle Tour, I've been privileged to make a lasting impact on students facing financial barriers at Stellenbosch University. Together as Maties, we're not just raising funds; we're creating pathways to education, breaking down barriers, and shaping brighter futures."<strong> – Lewis T Mboko, master's student in Economics</strong></p><ul><li>Want to get involved? <a href=""><strong>CLICK HERE</strong></a> for all the available opportunities. ​</li></ul>
New group of Dell Young Leaders start their journey group of Dell Young Leaders start their journeyDevelopment & Alumni Relations<div>Not even the rain could dampen the spirit of hope and exuberance among the 213 Stellenbosch University first-year students welcomed into the Dell Young Leaders programme at a recent launch event. This is the largest cohort of students onboarded into the programme at the university to date.<br></div><div><br></div><div>The Dell Young Leaders programme – funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation – is designed to empower university students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend university, to achieve their goal of reaching graduation and starting a meaningful career. The programme includes personalised advice and resources for students’ academic, financial, wellness and career wellbeing.</div><div><br></div><div>The 2023 cohort of Dell Leaders students at SU were selected from six of its faculties: AgriSciences; Economic and Management Sciences; Education; Engineering; Medicine and Health Sciences; and Science.</div><div><br></div><div>Linke Bredenkamp, a Nursing and Midwifery student, said being selected as a Dell Young Leaders student is a life-changing moment for her.</div><div><br></div><div>"Last year my parents told me that if I do not get a bursary, they would not be able to fund my studies. Now, I am able to pursue my dream of helping people in need. The beautiful thing about nursing is that you are there for people during the most important and difficult times in their lives, such as births, deaths and illness. For me that is the most important part of this job because it means so much for people to have someone there who really cares. Sure, knowing your work is important but just being there for someone is the most important and satisfying thing for me. Thanks to this scholarship I will be able to do just that."</div><div><br></div><div>Civil Engineering student Alie-Saadique Saban said he is thankful for the financial assistance the scholarship will provide.</div><div><br></div><div>"It’ll help me to become more independent and to not rely on my parents who also have to financially support my younger brother. Now I do not have to constantly worry about money and can solely focus on my studies."</div><div><br></div><div>Key stakeholders from SU, including faculty Deans and members of the rectorate, as well as representatives and leadership from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in South Africa, India and the United States also attended the event.</div><div><br></div><div>In his keynote address, Prof Deresh Ramjugernath, SU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, said: “The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is doing a phenomenal job in partnering with our higher education institutions to drive what is the most important thing for any university – students’ success. We are very proud to be associated with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.”</div><div><br></div><div>He reminded the 2023 cohort that being a Dell Young Leaders student not only affords you a financial award, but is also “a vote of confidence in your abilities and your potential to make a difference in the future”.</div><div><br></div><div>Ramjugernath also revealed that the Dell Young Leaders programme will henceforth be driven by the Responsibility Centre for Teaching and Learning at SU “to give student success the highest priority within our institution”. The programme was previously based within the Registrar’s division.</div><div><br></div><div>The launch event also provided an opportunity to reinforce the strong partnership between the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and SU. Since the launch of the SU partnership, as well as the onboarding of the 2023 cohort of 213 students, a total number of 662 scholarships have been awarded to Matie students. This means the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is on track to meet its target of supporting 1 000 Maties students by 2025.</div><div><br></div><div>Helen Vaughan, Programme Director in South Africa at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said the programme aims to make a difference in the lives of students by providing the necessary support to ensure they reach their goal of graduating from university.</div><div><br></div><div>“Since the inception of the programme 13 years ago, we have witnessed students reaching their dreams, transitioning into meaningful employment, and making a lasting impact not only in their own lives, but the lives of their families and communities.”</div><div><br></div><div>Of the over 2 000 scholarships awarded to date across partner universities, the programme has been able to maintain a 97% persistence rate – this directly translates to students reaching their goal of graduating. A further 98% of graduates have started a job or gone on to career-enhancing further study within three months after graduating.</div><div><br></div><div>“We are incredibly committed to making sure that we are building the right partnerships with corporate SA, government and non-profit organisations in the social sector to make sure we are placing Dell Young Leaders graduates into meaningful employment after graduating from SU,” said Vaughan.</div><div><br></div><div>SU is one of three partner universities, along with the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria, that have partnered with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to facilitate the Dell Young Leaders programme.</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>To find out more about the Dell Young Leaders programme visit <a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong>.</strong></li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><em>Photo: The 2023 cohort of Dell Leaders students at SU. (Je’nine May Photography)</em><br></div><p><br></p>
Giving Day: May we count on your support? Day: May we count on your support?Development & Alumni Relations<p><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:9pt;font-family:verdana, sans-serif;"></span></p><div>There's never been a more important time to support our annual Stellenbosch University (SU) Giving Day. Before we tell you about the how, the what and the when, please take a moment to consider the following:</div><div><br></div><div>Together we can alleviate the burden of student debt and pave the way for brighter, debt-free futures.</div><div><br></div><div>Let's talk impact. There is a massive shortfall that impacts thousands of students. What does it translate to? Dedicated and hard-working Matie students not able to complete their education.</div><div><br></div><div>SU's Giving Day is an annual event that brings together students, faculties, staff, alumni, and the wider community in a collective effort to raise funds for bursaries, student meals, and student community initiatives. Literally, what a student needs to operate and negotiate the day successfully.</div><div><br></div><div>If each one of us lend our support to Giving Day, it will lead to one desired outcome after another. The idea that your donation helps to spare hard-working Matie students the stress and anxiety of their degree being in jeopardy and their studies cut short might be the most considerate gift you'll ever give.</div><div><br></div><div>If you would like to make an online Giving Day contribution, please <strong><a href="">CLICK HERE</a>.</strong></div><div><br></div><div>A Matie-infused selection of on-campus activities will further boost Giving Day proceeds. </div><div><br></div><div>Maties Giving Day reaches its crescendo with a grand on-campus Rooiplein celebration on Thursday 5 October 2023. Join us for a cycle spin-a-thon, Zumba classes, a movie marathon in the Neelsie, music galore with DJ Mshayi and friends, and mini sporting activities such as athletics, cricket, soccer, rugby, golf, hockey, netball and rowing.</div><div><br></div><div>For more information, visit: <strong><a href=""></a></strong></div><div><br></div><div>Cast your mind back to the day you got your degree. How wonderful if you could help a fellow Matie experience the same.</div><div><br></div><div>May we count on your support?<br></div><p><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:9pt;font-family:verdana, sans-serif;">​</span><span style="font-size:9pt;font-family:verdana, sans-serif;"><br> </span>​<br></p>
Matieland Concert set to light up Homecoming 2023 Concert set to light up Homecoming 2023Development & Alumni Relations<p></p><div>Have you booked your tickets?<br></div><div><br></div><div>Stellenbosch University (SU) is shining the spotlight on talented alumni in the entertainment industry at its first-ever Matieland Concert on Saturday 16 September in Stellenbosch. The concert will feature extraordinary performances by violinist Kirsty Bows, well-known singer and songwriter, Koos Kombuis, the chart-topping singer-songwriter husband and wife duo, RAAF (previously known as Bottomless Coffee Band), and the winners from the recent University Acapella (Sêr) competition.<br></div><div><br></div><div>This Concert forms part of the University's annual Homecoming Weekend for alumni taking place from Thursday 14 September to Saturday 16 September on its Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses, where a host of events are taking place throughout the weekend.</div><div><br></div><div>These events include a Golf Day at the prestigious Stellenbosch Golf Club; the popular Maties Soirée that brings together Matie winemakers and makers of non-alcoholic beverages; esteemed business experts who will share their insights at a Business Breakfast; as well as various anniversary celebrations and reunions. </div><div><br></div><div>The Matieland Concert takes place at the Endler Hall, Conservatorium and starts at <strong>18:30. </strong>Tickets cost <strong>R200 per person</strong> and can be booked online at Quicket (<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK HERE</strong></a>).<br></div><div><br></div><div>The full programme of the weekend's events can be found <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>HERE</strong></a><strong>. </strong>If you have any queries, please send an email to or call +27 21 808 2710.</div><p>​<br></p>
New bursary donor centre elevates the importance of supporting student success bursary donor centre elevates the importance of supporting student successDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>​​Stellenbosch University (SU) officially opened its Masiphumelele Centre on Thursday 31 August, signifying a significant milestone in the meaningful engagement between existing bursary donors and the recipients of their generosity, SU students. This accomplishment, championed by the Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) at SU, Karen Bruns, actively strengthens student access and success at the University.<br></p><p>Thursday's inauguration ceremony brought together bursary and scholarship donors, including the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the Crossley Foundation, Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation, the Russel Botman Bursary Fund, Moshal Scholarship Programme, ISFAP, Feenix and Students for a Better Future, along with students and members of the SU community. </p><p>SU Registrar, Dr Ronel Retief, one of the speakers at the occasion, said education is the foundation upon which dreams are built, futures are shaped, and potential is realised. “We recognise that for our students to truly thrive, they need more than just financial support; they need an environment where they can grow, flourish, and connect. This Centre embodies that vision, providing a space for meaningful interactions between students, donors and the SU colleagues supporting the various programmes."   </p><p>Retief extended her gratitude to donors for their unwavering commitment to transform the lives of countless students. "You all are valued partners in the collaborative effort to help our students realise their aspirations. Together we are working towards opportunity, empowerment, and hope."</p><p><strong>'Let us succeed'</strong></p><p>The isiXhosa phrase 'masiphumelele', meaning 'let us succeed', inspired the name of the Centre, which originated from the efforts of the Development and Alumni Relations Division to extend its services to bursary and scholarship donors. The Masiphumelele Centre was funded through generous contributions from a number of donors.</p><p>This revitalised space on Banghoek Road, Stellenbosch, proximate to the engineering, arts and social sciences, law, and science faculties, offers an array of features, including office space, consultation rooms, flexible workspaces for students and donors, an area conducive to guiding conversations and mentorship, and a small workshop room accommodating 12 to 14 individuals.</p><p>Bruns emphasised the altruism of bursary donors who wholeheartedly support students' educational pursuits and ambitions. “The Centre represents a significant step towards enhancing the University's service to these critical supporters of the access and success of our students, while also underscoring our commitment to our students' holistic well-being and dignity."</p><p>The name 'Masiphumelele Centre' emerged as the clear choice through a survey conducted in May 2023 among bursary recipients, donors and staff who will be invited to use the space. Through sentiment analysis it was determined that students appreciated the unified vision of the University, the SU donors and fellow students to succeed and progress, with one respondent saying, “The Masiphumelele Centre will be for a community of individuals who wish to work together for a better future." Another student said, “Masiphumelele is a call for all people to come together for a common purpose, which is to thrive, as all of us should."</p><p>Bruns, added, “The Division takes immense pride in fulfilling its responsibility of facilitating institutional engagement between donors and the beneficiaries of their generosity. The Masiphumelele Centre will be instrumental in creating a physical space for collaboration and a common purpose. As a testament to SU's dedication to nurturing these essential relationships with donors, the Centre is symbolic of both our commitment to a good donor experience and to our student success."</p><p><strong>About</strong> <strong>Development and Alumni Relations (DAR)</strong></p><p>The Development and Alumni Relations Division builds relationships, creates awareness and generates support for the University's academic, research and social impact vision. The Division strives to ensure the future success of SU by securing private philanthropic donations and engages donors on the priorities most important to them. Putting donors at the centre of the process, DAR fosters an environment where excellence in student, staff and community interaction can be achieved through philanthropy and corporate funding.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Stellenbosch University installs sanitary pad dispensing machines on campus University installs sanitary pad dispensing machines on campusDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p></p><p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) has taken a significant step towards eradicating period poverty by installing state-of-the-art sanitary pad dispensing machines on campus. The installation was made possible by the generous financial support of a UK-based donor.<br></p><p>Two units have been installed on the Stellenbosch campus, and a third unit will be set up on the Tygerberg campus in Bellville in the coming weeks.</p><p>In South Africa, period poverty affects more than seven million young women, forcing many to choose between buying food or sanitary products. Many female students at SU also share this experience, lacking sufficient resources to access these products, which in turn unduly impacts their education, physical health, and mental well-being.</p><p>To tackle this issue on SU's campuses, the Development and Alumni Relations Division launched the #EndPeriodPoverty initiative as part of the University's Bridge The Gap Annual Fund (BTG). #EndPeriodPoverty aims to raise funds to purchase sanitary pad dispensing machines to address the stigma around menstruation and provide students with dignified access to female hygiene products.</p><p>"For the pilot phase, we have opted to purchase two large dispensing machines for our Stellenbosch campus that will dispense a total of 1 000 packs of pads a month and a smaller machine for our Tygerberg campus that will dispense 100 packs a month. Each pack contains eight locally manufactured, biodegradable sanitary pads. The machines will be refilled on a monthly basis," says Viwe Benxa, Alumni Relations Co-ordinator and BTG ambassador.</p><p>"Our students will be able to access the pads by tapping their student identity cards. In using the student identity card, we will be able to track the usage and determine the demand for the products which will subsequently inform our decision to make more machines available at more locations on our campuses."</p><p>The dispensing machines are strategically located in areas easily accessible to female students. For the Stellenbosch campus, the two locations are the Jan Mouton Learning Centre and outside the Tinie Louw Hall.</p><p>"We are hoping to raise enough funds for the next two installations earmarked for our Saldanha campus," Benxa adds. </p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Visit <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a> to support this initiative.<br></li></ul>