Fundraising rally to help people in South Sudan

| Meilani Halim

Two UT Honours students, Sarah Wiegard and Sven Kruthoff, are hosting a fundraising rally on the 15th and 22nd of June to combat the effects of hunger and drought in South Sudan. Partnering with the Welthungerhilfe charity organization, the duo is hoping to induce change in people’s donating behaviour as a part of their Honours graduation project.

It all started with a movie

Sarah Wiegard, a 24 year old IBA student, was watching Machine Gun Preacher – the true story of a troubled criminal’s transformation into a warrior for the war-stricken citizens of East Africa – when she was stricken by the harsh reality of poverty, hunger, and war that is faced by multiple nations in Africa. Wiegard then used her graduation project assignment as a chance to change these feelings of concern into acts of giving.

‘I am enrolled in the Process of Change Honours program, and for our graduation project we need to create something that will cause people to change their behaviour in some way,’ says Wiegard. ‘When we received the assignment, I thought it would be perfect to take this opportunity to use it for the good of this cause. So, together with my classmate Sven Kruthoff, we came up with the idea of a fundraiser event.’

How can you help?  

The fundraiser begins on June 15th with a talk from a volunteer worker from Welthungerhilfe, who has been to the crisis region, about the reality of the situation and how it can be helped through peoples’ donations. The following week on the 22nd of June, a movie will be played in the Vestingbar cinema for an entrance fee of €3, which will be forwarded to the charity organization. Returning to the idea that sparked the fire, the movie will be none other than Machine Gun Preacher.

Finally, there will be a party in the Vestingbar, to celebrate how good it feels to give to those in need.But the giving does not just start there: piggy banks have been placed in various spots around campus, namely the SportsCentrum canteen, Starbucks, and Coop, to give passer-by’s a chance to donate already.

‘Every penny counts’

‘We understand that students don’t exactly have a lot of money themselves, so we are not expecting donations of €50 or something; but we want people to understand that every penny counts. Hopefully we get some professors and UT employees on board as well, as they are likely to have a little more to give,’ says Wiegard. The money raised by this initiative will be given to Welthungerhilfe, which will in turn use it to provide food supplies and drinking water to those in crisis zones, as well as educate the citizens on how to manage growing crops during times of draught.