UWC appeals to public to help struggling students

David Gray from Durbanville Rotary Club.

The University of the Western Cape has called on the public to support a campaign to help needy students.

Access to Success helps students who are in danger of dropping out because of money problems.

The campaign’s phonathon raised more than R1million last year. This year’s phonathon started last week and will run until the end of the month.

Zandile Gqada is one of the students helped by the campaign. She started studying at UWC in 2012, and hopes to finish her B.Com this year, majoring in information systems.

“I chose information systems because I have an undying passion for this career; anything which involves working with people and coming up with solutions to identify problems comes naturally to me.”

She has faced her share of challenges while studying: losing her father, trying to hold down a part-time job, failing her studies and falling pregnant. She even considered suicide.

“Access to money was and still is a challenge for me as it is hard sometimes to come to campus because my mother doesn’t always have money, since she’s a pensioner and has to spend her resources on essentials like transport, to help with my studies.”

Samantha Castle, manager of the UWC Alumni Office, said 93 students had benefited from the campaign so far.

“Last year the focus was on calling on alumni, staff, corporates and friends of the university to assist students by donating, but this year we’re extending this invitation to the wider public.”

* For more information about the campaign, contact Somayah Barnes at sbarnes@uwc.ac.za or visit accesstosuccess.uwc.ac.za