The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) Covid-19 Relief Fund (CCRF) has so far helped 409 students as well as community programmes around the city. To date, the fund has received donations and funds matched amounting to about R650 000.
The fund was created in response to the pandemic, in hopes of lessening the effects the virus would have on the local community. The fund’s aim is to assist community members and students with either financial support or in-kind donations or services.
Since it started, the CCRF has received donations from various corporations and individuals, including assistance from FNB and Shoprite who recently handed over vouchers to CUT students. “FNB is very passionate about CSI projects, and we are bringing all the resources that we have at our disposal to try and help where we can,” said FNB Account Executive, Itumeleng Morakile.
“The community is always in our hearts, and it’s incredibly important for us to plough back into the community,” added Shoprite Group (Northern Cape, Free State: Lesotho Division) PR Officer Helen Namponya.
Local community programmes that have benefitted from the fund include Twin Towers Church, Sunflower Children Hospice, and more recently Kidz Care Trust and Victory Outreach. Manager of Kidz Care Trust, Marita van Kraayenburg, expressed that with the national lockdown, they had seen an increase of children begging in the streets.
“We work particularly with street children; we talk about street living children or street-connected children. Street-connected children are what we’ve picked up a lot during the lockdown because our prevention programmes in the schools are currently not running. So, we have extended and expanded our street work, where we are actually in the streets and identify children to find out where they live and with which groups they hang around. We then befriend them and if they want to come to the centre we bring them here for showers, clothes and warm meals,” she said.
Victory Outreach is a Christian recovery home which takes in troubled young men. Its director Emile Bailey, and his wife Tercia have been running the Bloemfontein Home for three years. “We take in men from 18 years and above who are bound to gangsterism, drug addiction, broken families and some staying on the streets. They stay here free of charge for nine months. We teach them biblical principles that God can change your life,” he expressed.
To donate to the CCRF visit: https://www.cut.ac.za/cut-covid19-relief-fund.