WITSIES have come up with an initiative that is going to help fellow students who cannot afford to buy textbooks.

The Volunteer Initiative for Students’ Textbooks (VIST) is the brainchild of Witsie Crossley Mjojo. It is aimed at assisting Wits students who struggle to obtain study material despite being able to pay for their tuition.

The team consists of Mjojo as the initiative’s coordinator, Rabia Kamdar, Palesa Molebatsi, Lesego Ndala and a number of Wits graduates who play an advisory role. They hope to not only make an academic difference but a financial one as well.

The initiative, which was only authorised by the university in September last year, will begin in the second semester because the team has focused on getting the project off the ground and finding ways to make the concept as good practically as it is theoretically.

The drive is intended as a means for “students to help other students,” because not everyone is privileged enough to afford new books or any at all, said Mjojo.

Mjojo highlighted the team’s hope to raise awareness to Witsies about the circumstances of their fellow students.

Under the Wits Volunteer Programme’s WVP) structure which is responsible for a number of social responsibility projects, VIST anticipates collaborating with well-known bookstores in making textbooks accessible to all students but more especially first years.

Major demands that have been noted are for science and commerce-related subjects because the material is generally costly and reading material can be used throughout one’s undergraduate degree.

Mjojo said, “This is an initiative that should continue here at Wits even after I have graduated and should hopefully become an independent charity that will function within multiple universities.”

Students who are interested in donating books and be part of VIST can find them at room 241 at the Matrix.

Published in Vuvuzela print edition, 18 May 2012