National University of Science and Technology (NUST) students in the department of Journalism and Media Studies in collaboration with their departmental lecturers donated to Marula cyclone Dineo victims in Mangwe district last Friday, an initiative the Student Representative Council never dreamt of.
The cyclone Dineo left a lot of destruction in the country as many people were left homeless when houses were swept away especially in Matebeleland where some people have been relocated and that they are in dire need of help.
It is the duty of the SRC to partner with students to engage into civic engagement activities as a way of giving back to the community. One of the objectives of the SRC outlined in the preamble of the student union constitution is to create peace and a culture of unity which can be attained through engaging communities where students’ parents and guardians are living.
Students who brought Marula villagers donations understand that Nust does not live in isolation and therefore students’ leaders should take a leaf and step up civic engagement as they are still many victims who are in dire need of assistance.
“Nust does not exists in isolation, it exists within a community where we as students come from so we have to engage with the community especially when disasters face our village homes” said Farai Kwesha. “ SRC should take this as an example and try to do develop strategies of raising resources among the students for donations for this is the opportunity for them to shine, we also believe that engaging the communities headed by our SRC, we will make a huge impact and impression”
Student donated groceries ranging from soap, sugar, rice, cooking oil among other many items. Donations were also given in the form of money and clothes.
The most beneficiaries of the student donations were the elderly people particular Mr Mkhulunyelwa Moyo and Sinkiwe Ndlovu who their hut they were living in was brought to the ground by the cyclone. The couple is 88 and 71 years respectively.
Some students took a swipe at the present SRC for being preoccupied with organising parties yet civic engagement should top their priority when disasters like cyclone Dineo hit the communities.
“This SRC need civil engagement orientation”, said Sineke Sibanda. “We understand that there might be limited resources on their part, but there are so many ways of raising resources that the representatives can embark on, we as students we just went into students and can you imagine what we managed to gather as Journalism department , just us and our lecturers ? What more if the SRC was involved? The key problem is that the SRC always think of bashes nothing else”
Meanwhile, Marula villagers expressed joy on students’ visit to their community. They appreciated groceries from students and thanked Mr Clayton Moyo who accompanied students to Marula village. The villagers also said the cyclone Dineo destroyed their crops and some livestock.