The charitable spirit for which Tygermaties are known once again came to the fore in generous donations of goods, time and energy by staff and students this Mandela Day.
In celebration of Madiba's 100th birthday on July 18, members of Stellenbosch University's Tygerberg campus were involved in a number of charitable activities during the week of 17 to 25 July. These projects were aimed at helping and uplifting the community.
“Celebrating the legacy of Madiba has been part of SU's Centenary Commemorations this year," says Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation at Stellenbosch University.
“It is important that we constantly remind ourselves to give back. And we should be deliberate in doing so. The legacy of Madiba not only allows us to do exactly that, but it also guides us in doing so humbly," says Van Rooi.
On Tuesday, July 17, students from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) visited the Sarepta Old Age Home in Kuils River to pamper residents with beauty treatments, and treat them with snacks and a performance by the Tygerberg Gospel Choir. On the same day, volunteers also cleaned up high-risk areas and removed rubbish in the community around the Tygerberg Campus.
From early morning on July 18, students and staff gathered at the student centre on campus to make sandwiches as part of the university's Toasties for Tummies initiative. They made a total of 1 500 sandwiches that were handed out to outpatients at the Tygerberg Hospital later the day.
A 5km fun run/walk on campus was held in the afternoon where items were collected for the Tygerberg Pantry Project, which counteracts food insecurity on campus. Donations of food and toiletries were arranged on the rugby field to picture the number “100" to commemorate both Madiba's 100th birthday as well as the university's centenary. The drive to collect food and other items for needy students is an ongoing project on the campus.
On Thursday, July 19, students and staff gathered for a dialogue session to discuss different perspectives on social cohesion and to reflect on the role we can play as individuals and as a collective to promote it in the faculty and beyond. The initiative, called Tables of Ten, brought together five tables, of ten people each to take part in the discussions.
The FMHS Mandela Day initiatives also touched the Avian Park community in Worcester where the Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health partnered with the accountancy firm PWC to donate 80 blankets and clothing items to people from this underserved community. The Centre is also undertaking a food drive to support Masibonelelane Soup Kitchen, which provides four meals per week to children aged 3 to 14 years and people living with HIV/AIDS.
On July 25, health sciences students will take part in a health promotion initiative at the Kylemore High School in Stellenbosch to educate learners on sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, and the use of contraception.