How December's Lead SA Hero is helping students in need
South Africans have become increasingly aware of the plight of poor university students who frequently, not only face unaffordable tuition but sometimes cannot afford basic necessities like food and toiletries.
This is the case for many students at the University of the Western Cape. However, recently, one student decided to step up and connect donors with those in need.
Jessica Lerm is the founder of UWC Fairy Godmother – a Facebook page which posts requests for help and funding from UWC students who are facing hardship. These requests are then answered by donors.
For her efforts, Jessica has been named December's Lead SA Hero.
But what led her to create the page?
Jessica says she realised just how bad circumstances were for some students when the lack of simple necessities led to them missing tests or class. She adds that when she saw how other students lacked basic resources, she couldn't ignore it anymore.
I couldn't turn a blind eye to this kind of thing anymore.Jessica Lerm, Founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
She decided to found the UWC Fairy Godmother page so that students in need could send private messages with requests for help.
Jessica says that preserving the dignity of these students is a priority, so their names are not disclosed, nor are any pictures of them shared on the page. Jessica then posts the student's request to the page, linking them with donors who can contribute or send money via EFT.
The page initially started with requests for transport funds, but has since expanded. Some of the requests fulfilled include groceries, study materials, and even sanitary products.
Jessica says that the page tries to keep it university-related, but they have significantly expanded their scope to help students in a variety of situations.
But if we can help, we do it.Jessica Learn, Founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
Jessica also notes that none of this would be possible without the donors who contribute to other students.
Thanks to our students. It's all about them. They put in the hard work and they are just awesome.Jessica Learn, founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
Find out more about Jessica's initiative in her interview with Koketso Sachane below:
Mmusi Maimane resigned as the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday.Read More
Maimane’s resignation comes two days after Herman Mashaba announced his resignation from the party and subsequently as Johannesburg mayor.Read More
Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler uncovers some of the hidden pitfalls of car hire contracts.Read More
The matric pupil at Grantleigh School, whose artwork is at the centre of religious debate online, has issued a formal statement.Read More
British-born, Zimbabwean-raised author Alexandra Fuller speaks to John Maytham about her latest book 'Travel Light, Move Fast'.Read More
Baffled by the rules surrounding the movement of children into and out of SA? Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi explains.Read More
EWN's Lizell Persens paints a picture of what matric pupils in Bonteheuwel have to deal with as final matric exams get underway.Read More
Visiting professor at the School of Governance at the University of the Witwatersrand Professor Mike Muller gives his take.Read More
Grantleigh School in KwaZulu-Natal is conducting an internal probe after Christian parents complained about an art exhibition.Read More
Is there dodgy maintenance? The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews Guy Leitch (Managing Editor at SA Flyer Magazine).Read More
Thirty years ago, it was stinky and derelict. Today, it employs 23 000 people and ranks among Africa’s most visited places.Read More
Cape Town-based medical doctor and author Dr Dawn Garisch describes the metaphors at the heart of her latest written offering.Read More
Checkers is getting "better and better", says branding and advertising expert Andy Rice.Read More
Gail Gilbride shares an update on her chemo journey and how she conquered aggressive treatment she thought she'd never get through.Read More
Julia Roberts, Kendrick Lamar, and Ed Sheeran are some of the celebrities who have suffered from this type of speech disorder.Read More
Breast cancer survivor Helena Vivier says cancer is diagnosis which requires people to be brave. She shares her inspiring story.Read More
Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu on his attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).Read More
People who suffer from hay fever allergies and asthma have been warned to brace themselves for a tough pollen season.Read More
Portfolio Manager Byron Lotter shares his stock picks of the week with Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show.Read More
Ethienne Reynecke had a stroke over a year ago, and he describes the signs and symptoms he experienced and his road to recovery.Read More