The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) consistent fundraising campaign for the ‘missing middle’ students has exceeded expectations again in its second year since inception in February 2016. On Saturday, 20 May 2017, the University had raised a total of R147 million for the ‘missing middle’ students with a fundraising dinner on Friday 19th and a UJ Future Walk on Saturday morning. The UJ Future Walk generated in excess of just over R2 million from sponsorships, participation entries and SMS pledges.
About 2000 participants walked the 5 and 8 km distances as early as 07h30 on Saturday morning, filling the Auckland Park streets with white t-shirts.
“The funds will assist approximately 3000 students. At the beginning of the year, UJ opened a call for applications for funding from students with a financial need and to those that demonstrated good academic performance, through the SRC Trust Fund. A total of 4,861 students qualified through this process and were awarded funding for registration in 2017. The University made a commitment to raise funds to assist these students with the balance of their 2017 fees. These are the students that will benefit first from these funds. We do, however, continue to receive requests from students, highlighting that the need is much higher than those that applied at the beginning of the year, says Ms Nolwazi Mamorare, Executive Director: UJ Financial Governance and Revenue.
Ms Mamorare adds: “While we are excited and grateful for the generosity shown by our partners, the need remains huge and we will continue to work hard to mobilise more funding to ensure that we assist as many students as possible.”
The first UJ Future Walk was held in 2015, with the 2016 event postponed due to the #FeesMustFall protests. Participants enjoyed music by Heavy-K (Drumboss) on the decks.