Feet4Fees ends 1 000km trek in PE next week

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - By STEPHEN PEN­NEY

Feet4Fees will see a group of StudyTrust bur­sary ben­e­fi­cia­ries com­plete their 1 000km walk on Mon­day, when they are sched­uled to ar­rive in Port El­iz­a­beth.

The students started their walk on 1 De­cem­ber from the Univer­sity of the Wit­wa­ter­srand to Nel­son Man­dela Met­ro­pol­i­tan Univer­sity in Port El­iz­a­beth.

The move­ment was ini­ti­ated “by students for students,” as stated on the http://www. studytrust.org.za/ we­biste.

Ac­cord­ing to Reuben Oosthuy­sen, ini­tia­tor of Feet4Fees, the ini­tia­tive started when one of the students recog­nised the plight of fel­low students, “strug­gling on a daily ba­sis to make ends meet”.

“Of­ten students will not have con­ducive liv­ing ar­range­ments, can’t af­ford de­cent meals and tackle a full aca­demic day with­out break­fast. Many don’t have any lo­cal family sup­port and have con­tin­u­ous stress about cover­ing aca­demic and per­sonal ex­penses.”

Com­pelled to try and do some­thing about this sit­u­a­tion, StudyTrust, a bur­sary or­gan­i­sa­tion, was ap­proached with the idea of em­bark­ing on a chal­leng­ing walk in or­der to raise bur­sary fund­ing. StudyTrust made cur­rent bur­sary ben­e­fi­cia­ries aware of this idea, and re­ceived an over­whelm­ing re­sponse with 134 students sign­ing up, want­ing to plough back and make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of fu­ture students. The fi­nal group con­sists of 15 students who have em­barked on the 1 000km walk.

“We recog­nise how vi­tal the ed­u­ca­tion of our gen­er­a­tion (and ev­ery gen­er­a­tion) is to build South Africa and be­lieve that both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor is needed to ad­dress this is­sue,” said Oosthuy­sen.

The ini­tia­tive aims to raise funds to­wards stu­dent bursa- ries and as­so­ci­ated costs and also to cre­ate aware­ness of the plight of students strug­gling to ac­cess study fund­ing and cover liv­ing ex­penses.

The dis­tance of just over 1 000km is in a re­lay fash­ion, which will see each group walk­ing 20km per day and each stu­dent will walk a to­tal of 333km.

Af­ter a rest day in Cradock yes­ter­day, the team will head to Cook­house, Alicedale and Colch­ester be­fore stay­ing over in Port El­iz­a­beth on Sun­day night.

The team will cre­ate aware­ness of op­tions for fur­ther stud­ies and var­i­ous sources of ac­cess­ing schol­ar­ships, bur­saries and fi­nan­cial aid, by vis­it­ing some schools en route and pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion on how/where to ac­cess fund­ing.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the Feet4Fees Face­book page, visit the StudyTrust web­site: http:// www. studytrust. org. za/ or con­tact Reuben Oosthuy­sen on 079 876 2127.

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