Meet UWC's Fairy Godmother, the lecturer who raises funds to help needy students
A lecturer at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has helped hundreds of students in need through her side-gig as a fairy godmother.
In 2017, she created a fundraising Facebook page to cover basic university-related expenses for needy UWC students.
She was even named a Lead SA Hero in December 2017 in recognition of her inspiring work.
Instead of a magic wand, the UWC Fairy Godmother uses social media to help reach out to donors that are willing to help make a difference.
The lecturer says she was struck by the challenges faced by students on campus and the strain taken on their studies.
I think for the majority of South Africa, one's student years are the hardest years of one's life. Years of deprivation and hardship for the sake of eductaion.Founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
How does it work?
Students message the Facebook page outlining their need and their messages are posted anonymously in the hopes of finding help.
Requests include money for groceries, taxi fare, textbooks and other university-related expenses such as printing credits.
More than 2,000 requests have been sent since the page was created two years ago.
Every single request that has been posted to date has received a response from someone wanting to assist.
She's found that South Africans have shown boundless generosity towards her page because of the personal stories shared by each student.
The page also posts positive feedback from the students who detail the impact of the donations they receive.
We post two success stories per day.Founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
All of the posts are posted anonymously. We do it to protect their dignity.Founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
It's literally just connecting students with people out there who have something to give.Founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
South Africans are not afraid to give. They are generous people.Founder of UWC Fairy Godmother
Because of the initiative, more than 85 students receive monthly funding from donors who have committed to helping students long-term.
Many of those who have been helped through the page have also paid it forward to others in need.
The founder has reassured the public that the page has several measures in place to safeguard against fraudulent requests.
A pensioner who has donated to the UWC Fairy Godmother in the past has encouraged others to support the cause.
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