A collective of young people In the University of the Free State has embarked on an initiative of feeding destitute students on a weekly basis since the beginning of lockdown brought upon by Covid-19 pandemic.
The UFS Scout Rovers In Bloemfontein started the Help a Student Campaign when the consequences of lockdown were visible and stranded students who could not return home appeared to be in dire need of food. With the help of international donors, the students donate food packages and R250 food vouchers.
One of the participants of the campaign, Lona nkewu (19), said: “ I live under the motto 'do unto others as you would like them to do to you'. This is what motivated me to be part of this great initiative.”
Nkewu added that the food handovers are done once a week and, so far 85 students in Bloemfontein had received food packages and 32 digital vouchers have been provided for students outside Bloemfontein who are in distress in their homes.
Another participant, Siphila Dlamini (22), who is the project leader, added: “ We select students who really need help from applications we receive and from there we send messages for them to collect the food parcels or send food coupons to students.”
Dlamini also said that they only have 50 or 60 food parcels to give out at the moment before they run out of funding, and this is despite them receiving 585 applications for the food relief packages.
Thobeka Buti (24), who is also a participant, said: “We are however trying to explore other initiatives like students soup kitchen and come up with ideas so that post the initial end date of the drive ,we still tackle food insecurity problems among students.