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UCT calls on alumni to support GBV campaign

UCT student representative council (SRC) chairperson Declan Dyer said the initiative is an important step in improving survivor support at the university. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency

UCT student representative council (SRC) chairperson Declan Dyer said the initiative is an important step in improving survivor support at the university. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency

Published Aug 6, 2021

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Cape Town - UCT has called on its alumni around the world to support Alumni in Action, a new campaign to assist survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) on campus.

The campaign, a brainchild of alumnus Zellah Fuphe and student Sanda Nyoka, in partnership with the office for Inclusivity and Change (OIC), the Development and Alumni Department (DAD), and Student Wellness Service (SWS), was launched last month.

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Fuphe kick-started the drive by donating R120 000 for the first phase of the roll‑out. The project has received an additional R100 000 donation from the Mauerberger Foundation Fund, chaired by alumnus Dianna Yach.

Fuphe said GBV remained a significant problem in the country, with devastating consequences for survivors.

She said, regrettably, institutions of higher learning were not immune to the scourge, and the level of cases may be even higher, as most survivors were known not to report incidents.

"The initiative, Alumni Action, is an inter-generational effort comprising Sanda and I, UCT and its alumni psychologists, and the broader UCT community, including past and current students," she said.

Fuphe said her role, beyond being the concept originator, includes the provision of initial funding to enable therapy sessions with UCT alumni psychologists for student survivors of GBV, and that the initial funding would enable the provision of up to eight sessions to 25 survivors.

UCT vice chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said, for too long, sexual and gender-based violence has been allowed to run rampant, cutting victims down physically and psychologically, so that they never reach their potential.

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"It’s a huge indictment on our society and a massive loss. I see this campaign as part of our commitment to creating a community of care. With the proper care and resources, we can help survivors rebuild their lives,” said Phakeng.

UCT student representative council (SRC) chairperson Declan Dyer said the initiative is an important step in improving survivor support at the university and would make available critically-needed aid to survivors, adding to what has previously been available.

Dyer said the SRC would join various alumni in supporting the initiative, which would equally support the efforts towards crafting a truly survivor-centred support system.

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"We also call upon stakeholders, across the institution, to back this initiative," he said.

To donate, visit: http://www.oic.uct.ac.za/oic/alumni-in-action#donate

[email protected]

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