TK MTIKI and JON HOUZET
A FASTING fundraising drive by NHL Stenden University students in the Netherlands has netted R80,000 for the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen.
Two Stenden students, Franzi Helm and Simona Basheva came up with the idea, and teacher Jenifer Penn supervised the fundraiser.
The fundraising drive, themed Hold Your Hunger, was held simultaneously at Stenden’s Port Alfred and Netherlands campuses. Helm explained that students stayed awake overnight for 12 hours and went without eating. About 30 students and seven staff members took part at the Netherlands campus.
“We were sponsored by friends, parents and grandparents,” she said. One student, whom she did not mention by name, was able to raise about 500 Euros by herself.
Explaining the reason behind not sleeping and not consuming any food, she said: “We wanted to know how it feels like to be without food and we wanted to raise awareness of how some people live.” She further mentioned that about 30 students and 7 staff members participated in the fundraising.
She said it was challenging going without food but they kept themselves distracted and entertained by playing video games and other activities.
More importantly, other students had shown interest in the event and Helm believes that next year’s fundraiser might be an even bigger success.
Helm handed over the cheque to the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen on behalf of her fellow fundraisers last Thursday afternoon.
Stenden South Africa executive dean Wouter Hensens commended the fundraiser and said money raised at the local campus, about R6 000, had already been handed over to the soup kitchen.
He said after Stenden University’s recent merger with another university in Holland called NHL University of Applied Sciences, they had about 25 000 students and were an institution with the potential to make a difference in society.
Next year they hope to include the Thailand, Bali and Qatar campuses in the Hold Your Hunger fundraiser.