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24/08/2016

With just two days before Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University trailblazers jet off to South America to take on the 43km Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, fundraising initiatives are still going strong in a concerted bid to help raise the R4-million to help third or final year students finish their academic journey.

The campaign hit the halfway mark and recorded donations in excess of R2-million this week, with the NMMU Alumni Association adding a further R10 000 through a fundraising event on Tuesday night.

The fundraising event, hosted by the association with alumnus and trailblazer Dr Bridgette Gasa as special guest and keynote speaker, saw the Alumni Association also increasing its initial pledge from R100 000 to R150 000 – a welcome boost to the very worthy cause.

As students all over the country call for increased access to university studies for the poor and academically deserving, Dr Gasa called on her peers in the corporate sector to dig into their pockets to help finance needy students.

Addressing guests at the cocktail function, Dr Gasa said when she was approached to be part of the cause, she could not decline as she herself had been given a chance by others to pursue her architectural studies.

“Those of us who are fortunate enough to have had someone open doors for us, need to open doors for this generation. We need to help deserving students to graduate and we need to create opportunities for them after they graduate,” she said.

“I am deeply appreciative of the breaks I received from people who saw potential in me, and this is part of why I am so passionate about helping young people today.”

Dr Gasa has always funded financially struggling, but academically deserving students.

Dr Gasa will meet NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz and student flag bearer Nandipha Jack, who leave for Peru early on Friday morning.

At Tuesday night’s fundraising event, R10 000 was raised, with an Alumni “care bag” auctioned off to businesswoman Bong Siwisa for R3 500.

Efforts to raise funds for the campaign are set to continue even after the trailblazers return, with staff, students, alumni, corporates and the general public encouraged to continue pledging their support.

To donate, payments can be made either by pledging on http://trailblazing.nmmu.ac.za/ or making a direct deposit to:

Account name: NMMU Trust
Bank: ABSA
Branch code: 632005
Account number: 16-4017-2998
Reference: BD18/your name

UPPING THE STAKES: Alumni Relations Director Paul Geswindt, Alumni Association President Dr Randall Jonas, alumnus Dr Bridgette Gasa, student flag bearer Nandipha Jack and NMMU Trust acting chief executive Dr Denver Webb with the R150 000 cheque from the Alumni Association to the #Trailblazing campaign.

Contact information
Mr Paul Geswindt
Director: Alumni Relations
Tel: 27 41 504 3935