NMMU students make difference beyond classroom

NOVEMBER 6, 2015

Amazing NMMU BtC students (Beyond the Classroom) were celebrated recently for giving of themselves so selflessly in many outreach projects.

One of the learning lessons in the Programme is the understanding that together everyone can make a difference.  And that is what a BtC member and five friends did; R1 at a time.

"We often think that we need to ask for large donations in order to change someone’s life, but this project is simply to ask 5 friends for R1 each.  If they wished to donate more – that was encouraged!" they said.

As part of Professor Swartz's personal commitment to the University's 10-year celebrations, he climbed  Mount Fuji in Japan on 7 August to raise funds for academically-deserving but financially-needy students at NMMU and these students donated R3037 towards the #climb4nmmu campaign.

In addition, all students on the Programme must do a minimum of 20 hours of community outreach – this translates to a minimum of 227 students x 20 hours = 4540 hours.  With most of them students giving far more than 20 hours. 

Each year, a special award is made to a student ot students who go way beyond what is expected of them in their community outreach. This year, the ALICE Award (A Little Involvement Changes Everything) went to two students.

The first award went to Pamela Mabiza a 2nd year, Agricultural Management Diploma student, who spent her time sorting donations of clothing and helped with general administrative assistance at the Hospice Shop, realising that with the little she could do, it could help raise funds for those who needed care. Taking it further and using what she had learnt through her studies to help others, she also volunteered at the TocH Charity Shop in central and helped set up their agricultural garden.

Being a true NMMU ambassador with comments such as “a very helpful young lady with a vast knowledge of agriculture, an asset to our organisation”. 

"This experienced changed me in a way that I believe that help does not need you to be rich – but to be there," says Pamela.

The second recipient was Lumka Makeka, a 2nd year Public Relations Diploma student, a lead facilitator at the Reading Space Club in Masibambane Senior Secondary School in KwaZakhele, working with the Unako Community Based Movement.   She spent her Saturday mornings assisting learners in Grade 8 and 9 with reading skills.  

Furthermore, she also volunteered at the Mandisa Shiceka High School assisting with administrative work.   With beneficiary comments “She has demonstrated quality human relations with every stakeholder, with her leadership and initiative skills she was able to influence our stakeholders positively.   Her sense of work ethics is of exceptional quality.”

Lumka says: “When I started, my objective was to complete the BtC minimum required hours of volunteering.  Little did I know that I would fall in love with the reading space, I just could not stop”.