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SPECIAL REPORT ARTICLE 4

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ENTERPRISE & SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

STELLENBOSCH THUTHUKA STUDENTS GIVE BACK

During 2007, Stellenbosch University welcomed its first intake of 20 Thuthuka students, better known as the “Thuthuka-20”. In 2008, a further 29 students were added. The Stellenbosch Thuthuka programme focuses on Afrikaans speaking students from the coloured community.  The students are all enrolled for the three-year BAccounting programme offered by the Department of Accounting and are looked after by a dedicated project manager, who is also a full-time lecturer in the department.  They all live in university residences in close proximity to each other.  All students currently on the Thuthuka programme have been achieving good academic results.

The Stellenbosch Thuthuka programme consists of four components. The most important is the student, who is responsible for his/her own future, to take responsibility for his/her studies and to embrace the opportunities available. Academia is the second most important component, during which the students take part in various transformation and quality initiatives at Stellenbosch University in the form of academic support initiatives. In addition to the academic support programmes, the students also take part in various life-skills and workplace readiness programmes. The last, yet no less important component is community interaction, where the students are expected to plough back into their communities. During the year, the Thuthuka students as individuals took part in various community interaction projects, which range from voluntary community service to the application and transfer of their newly acquired accounting knowledge in their home communities. Some of the students gave up part of their June holidays to act as group leaders at the Department of Science and Technology/Thuthuka Maths and Science Development camp.

The Thuthuka first and second year students as a group also decided to give back to the Stellenbosch community by collecting money for Funda Fundisa (which means ‘Teach and Learn’). Funda Fundisa is a project, managed by students at Stellenbosch University, which provides additional tutorial classes in Mathematics, Science, English, Biology and Accounting to Grade 10 and 11 learners at Kayamandi High School in Stellenbosch. The project required funding for textbooks and stationery. Delano Williams, one of the Thuthuka students, said that they decided to collect money for Funda Fundisa because they believed in the idea of the Thuthuka project. He stated that “History was made as for the first time, Thuthuka Stellenbosch students gave back to the community. We also proved that we are not just a ‘Help Mekaar’ society, but also a ‘Help Ander Ook’ society and we want to keep that mentality.”

The Thuthuka students set out with the goal to raise at least R2 000 for Funda Fundisa before 31 July 2008. The students decided to raise the funds the hard way, by collecting door-to-door. They approached SAICA as their corporate partner to underwrite and match every rand they raised. 

By nine o’clock on 31 July, on a rainy Thursday night, they had raised R1 315. Although the students did not reach their target, SAICA decided to contribute its full R2 000. A cheque amounting to R3 315 was handed over to Anet Boshoff and Harri Kemp of Funda Fundisa. According to Boshoff, the funds will come in very handy at the beginning of next year when they expand their activities to Gr 12 learners. Their goal is to assist and support the learners from Gr 10 to Gr 12 in order to create a long-lasting bond between the learners and the students. They are still in contact with several of the learners who have been through the programme in the past and are now accounting students.

When Mr Williams was asked about their future plans, he answered: “Next time we will look to raise a much bigger amount, as we have not at all shown the potential we have.”

For more information on the Stellenbosch Thuthuka programme, please visit the Stellenbosch University webpage at:

www.sun.ac.za/accounting/thuthuka.html.

 

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