The Student Affairs division at Senate House has started a drive to collect food and toiletries for students who are most in need of these items.
Ashina Sarawan, Projects Officer for Student Affairs said their mandate was to offer “social support” to students. This support cannot be monetary but they do aim to meet some of their immediate needs.
Some of the things students need support with are things like food, clothes and toiletries. There are a number of drives and campaigns that are run by the division and also through student initiatives through the Wits Volunteer Programme which supply the above-mentioned items for students.
At present a toiletry drive has been launched. The drive works on a donation basis whereby students and staff donate whatever toiletries they can and these are then distributed to students in need. The toiletry packs are gender specific, said Sarawan.
The food drive is a new project that the division started running towards the end of February. They are looking for small quantities of food and items like rice, beans, tinned food and maize meal.
When all the food is collected, the division will put together food packs. Sarawan said this block would be the collection phase of the groceries. During second block the groceries would be handed out.
To get access to some of the donated packs students need to go to the Student Affairs offices to explain their situation. It is a very transparent system that doesn’t discriminate against any student who comes forward.
“We understand that it is very hard for students to approach us, so we trust that no one would claim packs if they don’t need them,” stated Sarawan.