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Wits students called to rise to the challenge

- Wits University

The call to rise to the challenge and respond to the challenges facing South Africa has come at a time requiring guts and conviction for three students.

Johannesburg is experiencing some of its coldest days and yet three Wits students will be spending tonight in an open field in aid of charity.

The Sun International CEO SleepOut, which is in its second year running this year, is a fundraising initiative which challenges CEOs to team up with three other people to raise funds for education as a step towards eradicating homelessness by bridging the gap between homelessness and economic freedom.
Students participating in CEOSleepOut 2016

Identified as agents of change by CEOs of companies in South Africa, Joyful Mdhluli, Rowan Carstensen and Mthunzi Nhlapo have been called on to champion change and truly experience what it means to spend the night on the street without shelter and raise awareness on homelessness.

Mdhuli a Masters student in physics was selected by the Ambassador of Switzerland to South Africa, the Honourable Helene Budliger Artieda, to join her team of four for the CEO SleepOut on the Nelson Mandela Bridge. 

Each participating CEO has to pledge R160 000, which will be raised in the spirit of Paying It Forward. The CEO will pass on their R100 000 to their staff member, who will commit to helping the student raise R50 000. The student will then commit to helping the matric learner raise R10 000. 

Carstensen a Masters in engineering student was called by Barry Sundelson, CEO of Discovery Vitality while Nhlapho, who is pursuing a BSc in Property Studies, will rise to the challenge with Norbert Sasse, CEO of GrowthPoint Properties LTD.

Tonight, all participants will bring with them clothing, books, and blankets and all of these items will be donated upon departure.

Joyful, a future scientist on the Wits-ATLAS experiment project has welcomed the challenge which has brought her face-to-face with the difficulty of mobilising funds for change.

Having raised just over R50000, she believes this experience has once again reinforced her conviction that meaningful change can be achieved through collective effort.

Galvanised into action, Nhlapho says his call was a realisation that it is “time to stop dreaming of and preaching for change. I need to be an example to others.”

Carstensen concurs, adding that the journey in preparation for the sleepout has been an eye opener.

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