The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) annual phonathon got under way on Tuesday, 18 June 2019, and will continue until 13 July. Now in its sixth year, the annual UCT phonathon is hosted by the Development and Alumni Department.
The phonathon is an opportunity for alumni to pledge financial support for their alma mater through a donation, but also aims to connect current students with those who have already graduated. UCT students and volunteers are phoning alumni on weekdays between 17:30 and 20:30, and on Saturdays between 10:00 and 17:00 during this period.
The focus of this year’s phonathon is to raise funds for the UCT Food Programme.
Student hunger is a growing national challenge. In 2018 the National Research Foundation reported that more than 30% of the country’s students are food insecure, compared with 26% of the population. Campus food insecurity remains high at institutions across the country, including UCT.
The UCT Food Programme was launched during the November examination period in 2018 to address the issue of student hunger, while promoting the dignity and agency of our students, all underpinned by a spirit of volunteerism.
The programme is a collaborative initiative involving several departments, as well as student and staff volunteers from across the university, under the leadership of Professor Loretta Feris, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation.
Through the programme, UCT provides 600 lunches daily for students on upper campus, at the College of Music, on Hiddingh campus, Health Sciences, Law and at the Child Guidance Clinic.
It is envisaged that, from 2020, students will be issued food vouchers that are redeemable at the UCT Food and Connect outlets on campus. This will enable students to have a wider choice, and remove the indignity that may be associated with food insecurity.
The cost of a single daily voucher, based on the 2019 costs, is R32. With 600 students being part of the current programme – and the number of affected students estimated to be higher – a total amount of R1.5 million is projected to be needed to fund the programme in 2020.
We therefore urge and appeal to members of the UCT community to give to this worthwhile intervention to help us reach the target amount. To find out more about the programme or to make a direct contribution, please contact Cindy De Oliveira or complete the online form.
The university is developing a sustainable food programme. This will explore various options for food security and harness the spirit of volunteerism that has already rallied UCT and the broader community. For further information, or to volunteer, please contact Edwina Brooks.
Please support this worthy project.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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