North-West University: NWU SCC provides support to the less fortunate

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It took five days, long working hours and no shortage of commitment but, thanks to the Student Campus Council (SCC) of the North-West University (NWU), less fortunate individuals of Potchefstroom can now protect themselves – to some extent – against the prevailing cold conditions. The NWU SCC has established a joint-initiative with several campus student leaders to knit and donate 83 scarfs to the Secret Scarf Project for Mandela Day. The Secret Scarf Project has been in place for some time and has helped to donate blankets and scarfs to numerous deprived communities in the country.

According to Diani Kruger, a third-year BCom Industrial and Organisation student on the NWU’s Potchefstroom campus, she saw the outstanding work of the Secret Scarf project on social media and began to develop an interest.

“I was impressed by the amount of work done by this initiative, given that the idea behind this project is to collect the knitted scarfs from various people who want to contribute, and then to distribute them by hanging them on trees for less fortunate individuals to collect them,” says Diani.

Diani remembers vividly how she became involved in the project. “I approached Jaco Lotter and Lynton Lefevre, the regional administrators of 67 Blankets, to initiate the idea and they both showed a great enthusiasm and excitement that the NWU committee wanted to participate in their projects.”

She has also revealed that the 67 Blankets is the only initiative with which they are currently partnered with so far. “At the height of the previous Covid-19 pandemic, the numerous partnerships we had with other organisations fell through. I made it my mission to find a new organisation to work with where we can start a fresh partnership and build on that relationship.”

She realised that there is enormous room for growth in their project, as various initiatives and people are willing to give a helping hand, and additional support, not only by knitting scarfs, but by participating in bigger projects such as knitting blankets.

Diani says she saw a big gap and noticed that there was a need for this initiative. “In previous years the SCC did not have a fixed project for Mandela Day and this time we thought it would be a great idea to change that. It is also a project where new skills are learned through participating and knitting scarfs.”

She also mentioned the pillars of the NWU SCC these includes empowerment, awareness and sustainability. “We focus on sustainability and this project has enabled us to contribute to society in a sustainable way, by providing the less fortunate individuals with scarfs that will not only help them during this winter, but in the winters to come.”

Diani wishes to inspire young people to raise their hands in helping to make a difference to their communities.” “I want the young people to look back and see me as their role model, and to be inspired to realise that by having a courage you can achieve anything you wish to do.”

Diani believes that young people have the potential to be the next Mandela. “Madiba was a selfless, loving and compassionate human being who acted in fairness and humility. He showed us how to be a good leader by setting the example of just taking that first step, even though it is the hardest. Doing the smallest thing like becoming more involved in certain things, can turn into so much more.”

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