Wits students lend a helping hand to Hillbrow orphanage

 Batho Bothong, an NGO by Wits students is helping a group of children at Malaika Orphanage with schoolwork, food, clothes, sanitary towels and other necessities.  

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A GROUP of Wits students is offering aid to an orphanage in Hillbrow through their community outreach project, Batho Bothong.

The project helps 75 children, between the ages of two and eighteen from Malaika Orphanage Home with schoolwork through tutorial sessions twice a week and with items such as food, clothes, sanitary towels and stationary.

Batho Bothong volunteers tutor the children in Physical Sciences, Maths, Maths Literacy, Biology and English.  The initiator of the Batho Bothong programme, Khutjo Maganyele, said they also help with homework and other assessments for other modules when the children need assistance.

Malaika orphanage founder Juma Sebichuwu said they have seen great improvement in academic performances of the children ever since Batho Bothong came on board in 2014.

“The results of what they [Batho Bothong] have been doing here are visible to us, to guardians of these children and to them as well.  Their grades have improved a lot,” said Sebichuwu.

Malaika orphan Nondumiso Mlambo, 18, is starting the first of year of her law degree at the University of Johannesburg. She said if it wasn’t for Batho Bothong, she would not have achieved the grades that secured her a place at university.

“The programme really helped us.  We were a group of three girls (doing matric) and we all passed.  If it wasn’t for the project we wouldn’t be where we are right now,” said Mlambo.

They also organise motivational seminars for the children to motivate them.  Maganyele said it is necessary to instil positivity on children who are determined about their education and goals in life.  “The kids are passionate about where they want to go in future.  And they are such a bunch of kids, full of joy and potential,” said Maganyele.

Maganyele said he took a conscious decision to start the project as a result of the struggles he faced when he was in his first year at university as someone from a poor background.

“In my first year, I struggled with my self-image.  I had like three trousers and a few tops to wear.  And I chose to focus on people who are worse off than me,” said Magabyele.  He said he chose Malaika because of the “appalling conditions” he saw at the place.

The project was formed by Maganyele and seven of his Wits friends in 2014 with 15 volunteers at the time.  They started with few kids and he says the number has grown ever since.

Campus radio station hosts Winter Day Run

Wits Students and staff should get their running shoes ready to participate in the Vowfm Day Run in support of charity.

Wits University’s campus radio station, Vowfm, in collaboration with the Wits Sports Council, is hosting a ‘Winter Day Run’ on main campus today between 1pm- 2pm. The aim of the event is to collect warm winter clothing for needy students and for some charities. The station has launched its fourth annual “Winter Collection Drive,” and the run forms part of this initiative.

“This is a fun way of getting people to give back,” said station marketing manager, Lucky Mdaweni.

The 4km running course starts and ends at the cricket and hockey fields on east campus on a route that passes the Wits Great Hall.

“Any person jogging could take about 20- 30 minutes to finish the course,” said Vow FM DJ and marketing intern Timothy ‘TMO’ Abrahams.

The winner of the race will walk away with a six month gym contract and the runner up will get a three month contract.

The Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO) will be distributing the collected clothes to Wits students and other charities.

Drop boxes have been placed all over campus and at residences for the Wits community to donate clothes at any time.

A croissant and coffee for charity

WINTER COLLECTION FOR CHARITY: Vowfm will give a free breakfast to students and staff who donate clothing to the drive.

WINTER COLLECTION FOR CHARITY: Vowfm will give a free breakfast to students and staff who donate clothing to the drive. Photo: Provided

Campus radio station VowFM kicks off its annual Winter Collection drive with a free breakfast next Wednesday.

Lucky Mdaweni, the station’s marketing manager says, “This is our fourth year running the Winter Collection and we want to encourage the Wits community to give to those less fortunate”.

“People are in need out there… some of us take for granted the four pairs of sneakers we have,”

Students are encouraged to bring two or more items of clothes that are in good condition in order to receive a cup of coffee or tea together with a muffin or croissant courtesy of supermarket chain Pick n’ Pay.

“The currency is clothes,” says VowFM DJ and marketing intern Timothy ‘TMO’ Abrahams.

The Free Breakfast morning will be hosted outside the Great Hall on April 22 from 9am- 12pm while an outdoor broadcast of the show, ‘Mugging Beats’, will be airing live from the venue.

“People are in need out there … some of us take for granted the four pairs of sneakers we have,” says TMO. The station realises that not having good gear to wear can cause alienation among students and wants to give back to the Wits community and their listeners this winter.

According to intern Delisiwe Msibi, the winter clothing will be distributed to Wits students first then the rest will be donated to charities in Braamfontein.

The Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO) Food Bank will be responsible for the safe keeping and distribution of the collected clothing items.

Boxes have been placed all over campus so that the Wits community can donate clothes at any time. The boxes will be placed at all Wits residences and at Brammfontein residences.

 

Campus radio station helps to keep students warm this winter

A CHANCE TO GIVE: With the weather becoming increasingly colder, students can donate clothes to those in need. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen

A CHANCE TO GIVE: With the weather becoming increasingly colder, students can donate clothes to those in need. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen

Winter is fast approaching and while most of us are geared for the cold, there are many students that need some help keeping warm.

Wits campus radio station VowFM recently launched their annual campaign to collect warm winter clothing for those in need.

“Every year we have different homes that we work with in the Braamfontein area,” said Vow’s marketing manager Lucky Mdaweni. “This year we’re working with the Wits Volunteering Office, [now called] Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO).”

The WCCO office helps VoWFM locate charity homes, as well as students within the university who are in need of the donated items.

“They work a lot more closely with students on campus who need the clothing and other things … which works nicely because not all students on campus want to be known as the kids who want clothing, so they work with them anonymously.”

Mdaweni says that Witsies have responded positively to the initiative. “We’ve had a lot of requests to have the boxes stay a bit longer, purely because of the demand in terms of people giving a lot of clothing within the university,” Mdaweni said.

The campaign runs until the end of June, when all the clothes that have been donated are given out, but continues after that if people want to donate more. Boxes, such as those pictured above are located all over campus.

Witsie’s naked cause

By Tendai Dube & Palesa Vuyolwethu Tshandu

Thomas Revington is an indie-rocker and resident Witsie who forms part of the band Shortstraw, was recently featured in Marie Claire’s annual naked issue using his derriere for the betterment of humanity.

This year Marie Claire's naked issue has caused a bit of a stir on social media and led to the issue flying off the stands in no time. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

This year Marie Claire’s naked issue has caused a bit of a stir on social media and led to the issue flying off the stands in no time.                  Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Marie Claire brought together 36 South African celebrities, to raise funds for the non-governmental organisation (NGO) the Lunch-Box Fund. This year’s naked issue comprises a spread of celebrities whose naked bodies have become a talking-point on social media.

Actress and TV presenter Boity Thulo has been trending on Twitter all week because of her risqué pose. The celebrity’s naked frame brought about the most entertaining reactions under the hashtag #BoityReaction.

Wits University has also claimed its stake in the issue,  having one of their own baring it all in the name of a good cause.

Revington holds a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts degree from Wits and is also a guitarist. He and his band were approached by Marie Claire after performing at their trunk show last year.

After grudgingly accepting to feature in the naked issue, Revington attributed the charitable impacts as the primary reasons for agreeing to do the shoot.

“At first we were all a bit hesitant, but we got into it. Tons of awkward laughs,” the guitarist said about being naked with his band mates and other celebrities.

Now that the magazine is in store, we imagine fellow students will have a lot to say regarding their fellow peer’s good deed.

Revington foresees ‘lols’ from his friends but the musician doesn’t think it will be  awkward, “I’m still Jenny from the block,” he joked.

Books for no bucks

FREE BOOKS: Charmaine Pule, Media and Marketing Officer for the SRC shows Wits Vuvuzela some of the books they have collected for their book drive. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

FREE BOOKS: Charmaine Pule, Media and Marketing Officer for the SRC shows Wits Vuvuzela some of the books they have collected for their book drive. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

WITS students now have the opportunity to loan textbooks for free. Paul Maluleka is the brains behind the SRCs latest campaign that collects textbooks and books for students who cannot afford to buy books.

Earlier this year the SRC was involved in helping excluded students with their problems. They frequently complained that buying books and textbooks was a problem. They cannot all afford to buy new textbooks each semester.

The book drive is one way of fixing that problem said Pule, 4th year Education and Media and Marketing Officer for the SRC. She is running the book drive in conjunction with Maluleka in a bid to help alleviate some of the stress that students face when it comes to lack of access to resources.

They are looking for students to donate their old books to the campaign. Donated books will be given out on loan to students in need.  It’s a fairly simple process whereby students need to fill in a form from the SRC office. The students loan the books for however long they are needed..

So far, the SRC have received engineering and law textbooks. While this is appreciated, they need more textbooks and books from across all faculties and disciplines to broaden the campaign’s reach.

In line with the book drive, the SRC will be launching  a campaign called ‘Each One, Teach One.’ This campaign will look at donating a variety of things to matric students. Things like stationary, school uniforms and matric dance dresses. The objective of this campaign will be to support matric students who are in need. When dropping off the donated items, SRC members will also hand out food parcels and interact with the students.