Gift of the Givers spend R1m a day to assist UCT students, firefighters
CAPE TOWN: For the next six to seven days, non-profit organisation Gift of the Givers will continue its efforts to assist University of Cape Town (UCT) students with three meals a day, toiletries and counselling.
The organisation provides about 12 000 meals daily to the 4 000 or so UCT students who were evacuated from their residences as a fire swept through parts of Table Mountain and the university. The fire started on Sunday morning.
Dr Imitiaz Sooliman, the founder of the organisation, said Gift of the Givers would also be providing meals to the 200 or so firefighters who have been battling the fire since the weekend.
“We gave a commitment to the university that will be here for six to seven days but we can probably extend that if necessary. It has been a logistical challenge to move through all the 29 different hotels the students are placed in, but we have received remarkable support from the people of Cape Town,” he said.
With almost 30 years of responding to the needs of countless people affected by a wide range of natural and man-made disasters, Sooliman also made a plea to the public and businesses to assist with donations of food, toiletries and money.
Corporations such as Vodacom, Old Mutual, Shoprite, The Foschini Group, Nestlé, Engen and vida e caffè had also come on board in assisting the students.
“A minimum of R1 million a day is spent towards providing meals for students and supporting the firefighters,” Sooliman said.
The Shoprite Group has also started serving warm meals to UCT students who were affected and displaced by the fire.
Through its mobile soup kitchen, Shoprite said it had started serving students who were housed at the Mupine College in Pinelands, and it would continue to serve meals at more locations providing temporary accommodation for UCT students for as long as necessary.
Kindness is like coffee, it awakens your spirit and improves your day.☕— Gift of the Givers (@GiftoftheGivers) April 19, 2021
Thank you! 💚 @vidaecaffe, for sponsoring coffees for #UCT students.#MakeADifference #ForTheGreaterGood #DisasterResponse #Coronavirus #COVID19inSA #SaveSouthAfrica #CapeTownFires #UCTFire pic.twitter.com/KYKw2jIhrf
Meanwhile, UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said: “No classes, tutorials, laboratory work or tests took place on Monday or Tuesday. We will assess the situation and provide further updates before midday on Tuesday.
If you wish to contribute, please drop off essential items such as toiletries,clothes & food at the Old Mutual West Campus, 91 Jan Smuts Road, Pinelands, Cape Town. Alternatively, the institution has also set up a relief fund & welcomes all monetary donations.— UCT (@UCT_news) April 20, 2021
Details are below. pic.twitter.com/oCthZrdSJv
“The safety of students and staff is paramount. For safety reasons, campus will be locked down and no one, other than emergency services, will be allowed access. We are all anxious about the extent of the damage to the Rondebosch campus. We will provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.”
Monetary donations to Gift of the Givers can be made here. Or you can do an EFT to this Standard Bank account:
Branch code – 057525
Account number – 052137228
Ref: UCT Fire