Gift of the Givers to Provide Food Aid to Students
We have received requests by individuals representing alumni and other professionals to provide support to hungry students in the form of drinks, biscuits, nutritional bars and fruit. This request in turn has been received from students to sustain them when they are addressed by President Zuma at the Union Buildings tomorrow. We will provide a minimum of 32 tons of essential supplies conditional on us being allowed to bring our vehicles onto the Union Buildings grounds for organized distribution.
We empathize with the students understanding the challenges they and their parents encounter in the face of rising university fees and the general cost of living. We've watched helplessly as so many students had to abandon studies because of rising debt. We exceeded our budgets disbursing close to R20 million in bursaries in the last five years to assist needy students. In addition to that we have supported students with food parcels. The number of students that collapse from hunger at university has not been documented but this is an enormous problem. In the last three years, jointly with the University of Johannesburg, who initiated and financed a feeding programme for their students, we feed 3500 hungry students twice a day on four campuses. The total value of that support is close to R20 million per year. A substantial portion of that cost and the provision of hygiene packs have been funded by Gift of the Givers. This is in addition to the bursaries we have funded.
We make a call to all role players to find a compassionate and pragmatic solution in the interests of our youth who are the future of our country and continent. We seek a peaceful and lasting solution that will ensure that poverty stricken students of any race have the opportunity to progress in life financially and subsequently, improve the economic situation of those dependent on them. If anyone feels compelled to provide aid to the students please contact us toll free on 0800786777.