William Sezoe, vice-chairperson of the Stellenbosch University SRC, and Wim de Villiers, rector and vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, are among the staff and students who will take part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour today to support the #Move4Food campaign.
The #Move4Food campaign aims to combat student hunger, which is a growing concern on campus, and find solutions to the student debt crisis that some students are experiencing while waiting for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) decision on funding appeals.
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Professor Wim de Villiers will lead the team in the 109-kilometre race to raise funds for the “Move4Food” campaign, which assists financially disadvantaged students.
Despite his lack of cycling experience, Stellenbosch University SRC vice chairperson William Sezoe decided to take part in this year’s tour to support the campaign.
De Villiers has completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour several times, run the full 42.2 km Sanlam Cape Town Marathon twice, and completed the 88 km London to Brighton Cycle Ride twice in the last six years to raise funds for student bursaries.
As each racer raises money for #Move4Food through the GivenGain platform, they and their supporters will help reduce student debt and help the next generation of Maties.
Students have also flooded the Student Representative Council (SRC) with requests for assistance with meal vouchers.
The SRC’s vice chairperson, William Sezoe, said he was inspired by food bank appeals to participate in the Cycle Tour and raise funds.
“We have seen a significant increase in food insecurity on campus. Many students are going to bed hungry or stressing about where their next meal will come from. As an SRC, we can’t sit idly by and ignore this problem,” Sezoe said.
Some of the students experiencing food insecurity were those who were still waiting for NSFAS allowances or for decisions on funding appeals, as well as those who had no funding at all.
This year, NSFAS imposed a cap on accommodation and meal allowances, leaving students struggling to find housing and others facing food insecurity, as the allowance for meals for those living in residence was reduced from R26 000 to R15 000 per year.
Now, Sezoe and the other Maties cyclists will pedal 109 kilometres to feed every hungry student.
The organisers have sponsored Sezoe, and the staff at the campus gym have also helped him prepare physically and mentally for the race.
“By supporting the #Move4Food campaign, we can make a positive impact and help our fellow students in need. We urge you to make a donation towards this worthy cause. Your contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference in the lives of those who are struggling with food insecurity. Let’s come together as a community to support our fellow students and ensure that no one goes hungry,” the university said.
The public can pledge money to fight hunger for the students via Sezoe’s and the university’s social media pages.
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Picture: @StelliesSRC / Twitter