'Fairy Godmother': Mystery UWC lecturer helps many, needy students secure funds

2019-09-13 16:49
UWC Fairy Godmother logo. (Logo/photo via Facebook)

UWC Fairy Godmother logo. (Logo/photo via Facebook)

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A University of the Western Cape lecturer’s Facebook page assisting thousands of students in need through anonymous funders continues to exist because "South Africans are generally generous people", according to the founder.

The page, "UWC Fairy Godmother", is run by a lecturer at the university – who asked to remain anonymous - and provides a platform for students who are in need to request assistance by sharing their story.

The administrator of the page then posts the story on the page, with a student's unique identification number, and anyone willing to assist gets in touch with the page via Facebook messenger, identifies the number and provides assistance.

Expenses include course readers, textbooks, travel, groceries, data and electricity.

The founder recently told CapeTalk that the page had received more than 2 000 requests since its creation two years ago.

"The page works because South Africans are not afraid to give. South Africans are generally generous people," the founder told News24 on Friday.

"I think people realise that they are not only investing in the student they assist, but also, and I don't want to sound clichéd, investing in the future of our country."

According to information on the page, it exists to "connect registered students of the University of the Western Cape with funders for relatively small, but often seriously impactful university-related expenses".

The support a person can get from the page is two-fold: there are those who have monthly funders, exchanges which happen off the site. That list has 86 students. And then there are ad-hoc funders, who assist whenever a post is uploaded on the page. The number of people on the ad-hoc list varies from day to day.

The lecturer says she is proud of the work the page does. She has also questioned why there would be a need for the page, "when a student skips lectures because they are hungry, I question how it is that we got here". 

Speaking to CapeTalk, the founder reassured the public that the page had several measures in place to safeguard against fraudulent requests.

Read more on:    uwc  |  fees

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