"It is so exciting to receive a medical kit as we have experience downfall on our medication we appreciate what Gift of the Givers has done for us today," said Sister Maria Phondo, the HOD: student health and wellness, receiving a medical donation from Gift of the givers on Monday, 1 February 2021.
Gift of the Givers donation received by campus clinic delegates
The donation came as a relief to the VUT campus clinic as the effect of Covid-19 has hit their department hard due to the budget constraints. The campus clinic approached the director of resource and mobilisation, Dr. Narissa Ramdhani, to assist with clinical resources such as medication, needles, necessary equipment and ambulance. Dr. Ramdhani acknowledged the request from the campus clinic and set the ball rolling to assist where possible.
Through the help of Dr. Ramdhani, and the relationship that has been established with the Gift of the Givers, the donation has brought joy to the hearts of the VUT community. The medical suppliers will help the campus clinic to respond timeously to the needs of the VUT community, especially during this difficult time when the pandemic has hit the country. In narrating how the donation unfolded, Dr. Ramdhani said that the department of resource mobilisation had recognised the importance of health care facilities, such as clinics, for the students and VUT at large.
VUT has also recognised that institutions of higher learning are driven by a better understanding of health and its impact on learning. “Therefore, we realised the need to focus on better equipped health care facilities on our campuses. Moreover, given our experiences this last year, we were able to gauge that the VUT needed healthcare facilities that are prepared for global pandemics like Covid-19 and resulting challenges such as mental problems arising especially from the turbulence created by online teaching and learning and the loss of loved ones,” she said.
In view of the above, the department of resource mobilisation was approached by Sister Phondo a year ago needing assistance with the upgrading of the existing clinic and the provision of healthcare facilities at Sebokeng, the department was eager to help. The office of Dr. Ramdhani approached many prospective funders and found the offerings from the Gift of the Givers (GOTG) most generous. This organisation has remained a loyal partner of the university since 2018 when they were approached to assist with VUT’s food insecurity project.
This partnership has now been extended to the clinic project, which will see the current campus clinic being upgraded, a new interim clinic facility being established at Science and Technology Park and, ultimately, the building of a new facility at Sebokeng. “We are excited by the extension of this partnership with a donor and sponsor who is keen to grow the VUT community in a value-added fashion. This new project partnership was launched this week when the organisation donated a large consignment of medication and medical equipment to the university. Ultimately, we expect that our efforts and those of our donor, the Gift of the Givers, will help our students to succeed and to prioritise healthy habits,” she said.
Lastly, Sister Phondo said that the donation will empower the clinic staff to attend to ailments and medical treatment required by both returning and new students.