University of the Free State: UFS Health Sciences grows No Student Hungry fund through music

An extract from the lyrics of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, performed by Dr Nicholas Pearce, Head of the Department of Surgery at the University of the Free State (UFS), and Prof Hanneke Brits, Associate Professor in the UFS Department of Family Medicine, singing along with the staff and students from the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences and the audience. This performance was one of the highlights during the first Winter Warmer Picnic Concert presented by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The faculty, besides displaying the talent of its medical students, the Free State Youth Wind Ensemble, the UFS Choir, and nationally renowned Lucy Sehloho, aimed to create a fun evening for staff, students, and the Bloemfontein community in order to raise awareness for hungry students.

About students for students

It is a function about students for students, remarked Prof Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector: Operations, who opened the event. According to him, millions of people worldwide go hungry every day. “At the UFS, there are also many students who are not able to afford basic food stuffs. Often, essentials are not covered by student bursaries, leaving students hungry and struggling to perform at the academic level expected,” he said.

To enter the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus where the concert was hosted, members of the audience could donate non-perishable food, sanitary items, or blankets. The 800 food parcels collected at the event will be distributed by the No Student Hungry programme.

Besides students, staff members and their families who attended the concert and donated towards the NSH, the Life Rosepark Hospital and Sanlam also made financial contributions towards the programme.

Community coming together for a good cause

The idea to host the concert and to see lecturers in the faculty perform, stemmed from the CANSA shavathon held earlier this year when more than R10 000 was raised for people suffering from cancer and other related illnesses. Dr Pearce indicated that, should students reach the R10 000 mark, he and Prof Brits would perform Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. The original idea of one performance evolved into a two-hour concert, seeing members of the Bloemfontein community coming together for a good cause.

“Due to your contribution, many students will not go hungry,” said Dr Pearce, thanking everyone who attended the concert and donated to the NSH programme.

• Should you also like to make a difference in someone’s life and make a cash donation to the No Student Hungry programme, please scan the QR code and follow the instructions. Your contribution can go a long way in making a difference in someone’s life.