Gift of the Givers to feed protesting students
Gift of the Givers has been asked to provide food and drinks to hungry students when they attend a protest at the Union Buildings on Friday.
President Jacob Zuma is set meet with student leaders inside the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday‚ and students are planning to converge in their thousands on the lawns outside to protest against rising fees.
In a statement released on Thursday‚ Gift of the Givers said: “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.”
The well-known and effective charitable organisation said it empathised with the students and understood “the challenges they and their parents encounter in the face of rising university fees and the general cost of living”.
Itself a funder of students‚ the organisation said: “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.”
It also revealed that it has been involved in feeding students at universities.
“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.
“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.
“If anyone feels compelled to provide aid to the students please contact us toll free on 0800786777.”
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