Slippers make dreams come true

2013-06-29 12:39

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A charity project to help raise funds for children suffering life threatening illnesses in KwaZulu-Natal – which challenged second year fashion and textile students at the Durban University of Technology – has been so successful it will be incorporated into the syllabus.

Students at the Brickfield campus were roped into designing fun, fabulous and unique slippers that will be exhibited and sold through a silent auction at the Umhlanga Gateway Theatre Shopping Mall in an effort to help raise funds for Reach For A Dream.

KZN Reach For A Dream is celebrating the third year of its Reach For Your Slipper Campaign, which was highly successful last year. The campaign seeks to have thousands of South Africans in their slippers on a single day this year.

“The students were quite excited about taking on this challenge. We took it as opportunity to show off their talent, while at the same time giving towards a good cause. And I think our students really rose to the challenge,” said DUT lecturer Mala Gokal.

“The idea was to design something people would not find in a shop. And that is what they did. They made and printed their own designs, which they turned into beautiful works of art,” she added. Already, 18 of the best designs have been shortlisted to make it into the three-week exhibition lasting from July 12 until August 2.

According to Gokal, the university plans to incorporate the campaign into the syllabus and make it an ongoing project. Anna Rubycz of Reach For A Dream, said they raised R175 000 in 2011 through the project in the province. Last year, the campaign went national, raising R1.3 million.

One of the pairs that will be on auction.

Reach For A Dream fulfils the dreams of children between the ages of 3 to 18 who have life threatening diseases like cancer. “Some want to be a fireman for a day, some want to go on family holidays while others just want a cellphone or a Playstation to keep them busy while they are in hospital,” said Rubycz.

Some of the more outlandish requests they have had over the years include children wanting to meet football star Cristiano Ronaldo. One child who dreamt of meeting songstress Celine Dion was fortunate enough to get her wish granted since Dion was in the country at the time.

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