Two weeks ago, in response to reports of acute hunger and a huge accommodation crisis on UWC campus, caused by BIG delays in NSFAS funding allocations, and problems in the allocation of students to residences or private accommodation, the SOPH started a multi-pronged initiative to help students:
- We have been collecting mats and blankets, so students do not have to sleep on the bare floor in various halls around campus.
- We collect food on a regular basis, which is passed on to our Gender Equity Unit, who assist students to, if at all possible, provide one warm meal per day.
- And, most importantly, we have started a breakfast initiative, as we found large numbers of students going to classes in the morning on an empty stomach.
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings (limited to those days due to budget constraints, although we would like to expand) we offer a bowl of porridge, a cup of coffee, a piece of fruit, and, for those who do not have lunch, a peanut butter sandwich. We keep it very simple on purpose to make resources stretch.
In the past two weeks we have fed between 200 and 400 students per morning, at a cost of R24 per student for porridge, coffee, fruit and sandwich, made possible through private donations.
Photos and updates of the initiative can be found on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UWCSOPH/
With best regards
Director, SOPH UWC