Nelson Mandela University Convergence Fund update
NEWS BY NMU
The Nelson Mandela University Convergence Fund has been gaining traction, attracting donations from various members of the University community around the world.
Presently, the Fund has collected about R520 000 in monetary donations and has already contributed to a number of families and organisations in need, in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and George, where the University’s campuses are situated.
The Fund was launched in May in a bid to contribute to alleviating some of the pressing challenges affecting the poor and marginalised in the institution’s immediate communities, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its main objective has been to unlock the collective agency of all within the Nelson Mandela University family, whose generous donations have contributed to alleviating the prevailing hunger and deprivation in our communities.
The areas of focus include the elderly, survivors of gender-based violence and people at risk of defaulting on chronic medication due to hunger. The Fund’s resource allocation also takes into consideration other emerging themes based on advice from the implementing partners.
In June, the Fund issued its first cycle of disbursements in the form of monetary donations, food parcel distributions and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
A number of principles guide resource allocation, with efforts geared towards short, medium, and longer-term relief in line with the University’s posture of being in the service of society.
Beneficiaries of the first cycle of disbursement, which was done in partnership with a number of organisations in the city, included families from Zwide and Veeplaas as identified by staff at Garrett and Ntyatyambo Primary Schools, Yokhuselo Haven, Yethu Safe House, Phaphamani Rape Crisis, Ekuphumleni Old Age Home and the Gelvan Park Frail Care Centre.
In the second cycle, the Fund will continue its support to some of the beneficiaries of the first cycle, while also focusing on George communities and some of Nelson Mandela Bay’s informal settlements. The latter, facilitated by the Chair for Human Settlements at Mandela University, Prof Sijekula Mbanga, includes support to 90 families in Walmer Township (Area E) and 90 in Rolihlahla area, near Missionvale.
Donations have also been received in kind, with some student and staff volunteers dedicating their time to assist with packing the safe food parcels delivered to the families.
Read how the Fund has already contributed to some of Nelson Mandela Bay’s communities and organisations. For more information on the Fund and the various ways to donate, kindly visit the dedicated webpage.
The Convergence Fund Steering Committee wishes to thank staff, students, alumni and all University stakeholders who have contributed to the Fund and appeals for your continued support for it.
The work continues as the Fund tries to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those less fortunate.
Convergence Fund Steering Committee