HIS fundraising climb up Mount Fuji earlier this month would go beyond a personal mission for Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz – as dozens of students followed his lead.
As Swartz trekked up Japan’s highest peak on August 7 – his #climb4nmmu quest raising just over R1-million for academically deserving but financially needy students – a group of top-achieving NMMU students set about growing a mountain of money for the same cause through a “R10 for 10 days” challenge, which they have decided to turn into an annual event.
Among the more creative profit-making efforts was a “Mind for Change” project, set up by student Natalya Apopo. She invited fellow students to attend group-based learning sessions, where she guided them through self-imposed limitations in different aspects of their lives, that were preventing them from reaching their full potential. She charged participants R10 for the first session (the rest were free), making R650 from her initial R10 investment.
The most profitable project was spearheaded by students Andrea Oelofse and Monet Swanepoel, with the assistance of another student Anja Nell, who raised a profit of R3,120 through raffles for six different meat prizes, selling tickets at R50 for the discounted meat products they had managed to source.
Nearly all of the students involved in the fundraising drive came from NMMU’s PinnAcle Leadership Programme for top-achieving students from the School of Accounting. They started the project with R10 from their own pockets. Their resulting profit, at the end of 10 days, was just short of R20,000.
The students, who have already handed over a cheque to Swartz, will be recognised for their efforts at a PinnAcle function on Wednesday (26 August).
Other students sold popcorn or baked goods, while others approached shops for donations of chocolate and other products, which they then sold for a profit.
PinnAcle coordinator Elize Naude said: “The students learnt various entrepreneurial skills about how to make a profit from a very small ‘investment’ of R10 ... The project dared our students to step outside their comfort zone and humble themselves to ask for support, even though they did not directly benefit from the fruits of their labours. At the end of the day, they learnt that, as [American author] David McCullough once said, ‘one should climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world’, thus shifting the focus from themselves to the wider NMMU community of students, for whom they were raising funds.”
Swartz’s Mount Fuji climb was his personal contribution to NMMU’s 10th birthday celebrations this year: he needed to climb 10 stages, across 10 base caps, before reaching the summit. The students’ “R10 for 10 days” project was also linked to NMMU’s 10-year milestone.
All funds raised have gone into the NMMU bursary fund.
MOUNTAIN OF MONEY ... Students Natalya Apopo (left) and Andrea Oelofse (right), both members of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s PinnAcle Leadership Programme, with PinnAcle coordinator Elize Naude, hand over a cheque for R19,714 to Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz, the profits of a “R10 for 10 days” challenge run by students on the programme to support Swartz’s Mount Fuji fundraising climb earlier this month.
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