Citizenship: Outreach programmes
ADvTECH promotes participation in outreach projects that provide volunteer staff and students with a greater sense of community belonging. We put emphasis on using our time to make an impact. By collaborating with our students in CSI projects, we are creating future thinkers and pioneers in sustainability resulting in better equipped citizens.
While some 200 initiatives and projects were undertaken in 2013: highlights are below.
An outreach initiative with a difference
The Staff Intervention Day on Tolerance was the concept of Vega Durban. To create understanding and tolerance of others different to ourselves, all second-year students had to imagine what they didn’t want to be and then dress up and display this attitude for two weeks.
The students kept a journal of their experiences. The staff was also encouraged to interact with the students and live their experience for a period of one week. The participants agreed that this was a great learning curve on understanding and tolerance.
Mandela day and Heritage day saw Group-wide participation
On Mandela day, activities included a team from Head Office visiting the Star Child Care Centre in Alexandra. Abbotts Northcliff collected donations to provide sister school Kingsway Centre of Concern with stationery. The Rosebank College National Office focused on the environment, handing out fruit and vegetable seed packs to encourage the growing of sustainable vegetable gardens.
Vega staff visited an orphanage to spend time with the children. Students and staff also prepared a wholesome meal for the Usindiso Shelter for Women and Children and they were encouraged to donate towards the shelter. Vega had earlier supported the Shelter with a clothing and blanket drive.
Crawford North Coast Prep has also been involved in the LIV Village and organised donations of books for their school library.
There were many Mandela day activities in the Schools division. Crawford College Pretoria Matrics, for example, set up a small coffee and vetkoek station to treat passers-by.
Heritage Day is celebrated by running diversity awareness campaigns.
Varsity College Sandton decided to highlight American culture, while Varsity College Westville encouraged staff to come to work in traditional dress.
Among the Resourcing division’s CSI initiatives were the sale of Casual Day stickers in support of People with Disabilities and the Winter Warmer project. The warm clothes and blankets collected were donated to the Paul Jungnickel Home for children and adults with disabilities.
In the Schools division, Junior Colleges Castillian held a food drive. A load of non-perishable foods was distributed to under privileged homes. Junior Colleges believes that children are never too young to be introduced to the world of caring.
Trinityhouse High School Little Falls joined forces with Rhino SA to raise money in support of the campaign against rhino poaching. Crawford College North Coast raised R23 160 towards the Rock ‘n Ride 4 Rhino Philanthropy Challenge. The School also had a stationery drive for Thembeni Primary School which has over 1 000 students from Grades 1 to 7. The hundreds of donated pencils, pens, coloured markers, erasers and the like were greatly appreciated by the pupils.
Crawford sites traditionally raise money for CANSA through a 'Shavathon' event with Crawford Pretoria raising an amazing R40 298 and then a further R10 000 through auctioning by staff.
Trinity Pre-primary pupils donated second-hand clothes and shoes to the children of Mashaeng School.
Trinityhouse High School students were asked to make as many squares of fabric as they could to be sewn together into blankets. This resulted in 20 blankets and 15 baby sleeping bags being made, which were given to The Cradle of Hope to help keep their young charges warm during the winter months.
The Design School Southern Africa (DSSA), apart from its bursary scheme hosted free portfolio workshops aimed predominantly at learners who have never had the opportunity to receive formal art tuition.
DSSA Durban and Varsity College Durban North teamed up to visit two homes for the elderly, TAFTA Amoati and Wentworth, and handed over donations. The DSSA Pretoria campus students had a blanket drive for the Sunnyside Orphanage.
Rosebank College staff and students participated in various outreach activities during the year including:
Earth Hour 2013: trees were purchased and staff encouraged to sign the Earth Hour Pledge and switch off electricity for the hour. The Durban Campus "Flash Mobbed" at a local mall to create awareness among the public on Earth Hour and Going Green.
International Coastal Clean-up Day: the Durban campus supported the International Coastal Clean-up initiative by cleaning up the Durban Harbour and beach with over 50 bags of trash collected by the volunteers.
Anti-Rhino Poaching Campaign: the Sunnyside campus raised funds through the sale of anti-Rhino Poaching T-Shirts. A donation was made to the Pretoria Zoo for the keep of ‘Ronnie the Rhino’. The anti-Rhino Poaching project is driven by the students who participate in the Enactus challenge.
The Special Olympics Sports day: the Braamfontein campus arranged for Alumni volunteers to assist with this fund raising event.
Staff from both Rosebank College Central and Sunnyside visited the Child Welfare Tshwane Home to offer reading services to the children. They used various activities as a learning tool to help the children improve their vocabulary.
Varsity College again supported the Tutudesk Campaign as its national outreach initiative. The Tutudesk is a light-weight, portable flat surface with a handle for carrying that can be balanced on a student’s lap. This year, Varsity College raised over R300 000 to purchase some 2 300 Tutudesks which were delivered to school children across the country.
The Varsity College Cares programme encourages all students to be actively involved and to make a difference. Every Varsity College site reported on a range of CSI activities during 2013, a snapshot of some of them follows:
Durban North donated stationery to Just 4 Us Children for distribution, visited the Albert Luthuli Hospital CHOC ward and handed out chocolate hampers to all the children in the cancer ward, had an Easter Egg hunt for the kids of TAFTA and spoilt the care givers at Fair Haven Babies Home on Mother’s Day.
Varsity College Port Elizabeth campus staff supported the Reach for Your Slipper Day initiative in aid of the Reach for a Dream Foundation.
Many sites supported environmental projects. Varsity College Pietermaritzburg, for instance, arranged an outing for children from the SOS Children’s Village to educate them about the value of rivers in their lives. A beach walk organised by Varsity College Durban North raised funds for KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife and the Beachwood Mangroves.
Vega came up with a number of creative CSI initiatives. To create awareness for the Campaign against Child Abuse, students submitted powerful images and photographs, which were displayed at Constitution Hill during November 2013.
Brand Challenges are seen as an opportunity to involve staff and students in social welfare campaigns. This year Vega supported Bobbi Bear (this gives abused children a voice) and the Cipla Foundation which helps build a better environment for disadvantaged communities.
In a collaborative project with The Sharks and St Mary’s hospital, a donation by The Sharks to the paediatric ward of St Mary’s Hospital, with the funds being used by students to improve the ward.
Vega Durban partnered with the Cipla Foundation to help the development of fire resistant housing structures in informal settlements.
A clothing and toys drive was held in aid of Kids Haven, a home for abused and abandoned street children. Other charities supported were the SPCA and at Christmas, staff contributed towards a Christmas ‘Goodie Bag’ for several homes for the underprivileged and the elderly, in collaboration with Sabrina Pro-Appointments.
Vega Durban collaborates every year with East Coast Radio with the Toy Story Box, by placing a large box in the campus staff room to collect donations for needy children.
Breast Cancer Month was observed by staff and students who wore pink ribbons and made a donation to the likes of the Breast Awareness Campaign or Reach for Recovery.
Each campus also has blood donation drives to support the Blood Bank.