SAUJS campaign, #SupportAWitsie, has donated food and sanitary supplies to 165 international students living in Wits residences.

Parcels of food and sanitary supplies were donated to Wits University students currently living in residence  on Monday, May 18. The donation was part of the #SupportAWitsie campaign which was launched at the end of April by the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) at Wits.

“We decided that before we go to outside communities, we make sure that our community is helped,” said Wits SAUJS chairperson Gabriella Faber (21).

According to Faber, SAUJS handed out 165 parcels to students staying at Yale Village and Wit Junction. The parcels included, among other items, 2 loaves of bread, mielie meal, baked beans, toothpaste and sanitary pads. 

86 students remained on campus when the decision was made to close residences in response to COVID-19. These are mainly international students who were unable to travel home,” said Wits Dean of Students, Jerome September. September said, “With the return of final year medical students, an additional 95 students are now in on-campus residences.” 

According to September, the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO), has partnered up with organisations like Gift of the Givers, Tiger Brands and the Celebration Church to provide food support to the students in res. “The support is extended beyond students on campus, and also to those students who have required assistance in the Braamfontein area,” said September. Faber said September assisted in identifying how the students in res could be assisted.

Epidemiology masters student, Godwin Kalu (29) who is staying at Yale Village, told Wits Vuvuzela that, “students at Yale Village have been provided with hampers or food items, which has been quite helpful to students.” 

Faber said SAUJS were inspired by the Community Action Network (CAN) initiatives operating in local communities which have assisted in relieving hunger across the city. 

“I don’t see this as an act of kindness but more of an obligation. If we’re privileged enough to have enough resources to help, we have an obligation to help,” she said.

To contribute, contact Gabriella Faber:

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits SAUJS students finish packing parcels they will be donating to Wits students staying on campus. PHOTO: Provided