The University of the Western Cape (UWC) community is urged to support Project Making a Difference (PMD) as the newly accepted beneficiary of the Woolworths MySchool Project.
The project was established in April 2012 in the Economics and Management Sciences (EMS) Faculty as a registered non-profit organisation and has holistically been supporting and empowering financially challenged students in this faculty for almost a decade.
Professor Venicia McGhie (pictured), the initiator of PMD, said: “To this day, the aim is to strengthen students’ chances of completing their respective degrees. In this way we want to decrease the failure and dropout rate and increase the throughput rate despite the challenges students face with difficult social circumstances. Until now, we specifically focused on students from the EMS faculty”.
Should more people choose PMD as their beneficiary, the project could expand their services to support students from other facilities.
Prof McGhie said the idea of registering PMD as a beneficiary with Woolworths came after one of their professional tutors, Mr Kabelo Ramongane, suggested we apply.
“We submitted in September 2020 and the project was officially accepted as a beneficiary at the end of June 2021.
“PMD started small with eight students. To date, it has supported 593 financially needy students in the faculty. Every month, the project assists students with their day-to-day financial needs: course readers and study material, printing and photocopying, travelling and food or living expenses,” said Prof McGhie.
“Students are really struggling. Even if a student is accepted at a university, living conditions and access to funds greatly hamper a student’s chances at success.
“We have students living in informal settlements with no food or electricity at home.”
UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Tyrone Pretorius congratulated Prof McGhie on her initiative to register the project with the Woolworths MySchool programme.
"We are grateful for the opportunity and we are looking forward to our future collaboration. I would like to encourage the UWC community to continue showing their care for its students by showing their full support for this programme,” he said.
“Through the simple act of adding this programme as a beneficiary, you will be contributing to making the daily struggles of one or more students bearable.”
Prof McGhie explained that funds are generated through the project's volunteers, regular fundraising, and donor funding from entities such as the Distell Development Trust.
“We trust the UWC community and their families will continue to show us their unwavering support,” she said.
To support PMD, call the Woolworths MySchool customer care number on 0860 100 445 for assistance. Change your beneficiary to Project Making a Difference (use full name) and select Cape Town as the region. Or add the project as an additional beneficiary. Alternatively, register on the MySchool website at https://www.myschool.co.za/contact-us/. Supporters can link their current Woolworths cards to the MySchool card to ensure the points go towards PMD.