Strangers Chipped In To Help UJ Students Clean Up Brammfontein

It took about two and half hours for volunteering students to pick up litter and unblock drains in the Braam Centre area.

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By Gaby Ndongo

By standers stepped in to help UJ students who were cleaning up the Braamfontein area on Friday last week.

It took about two and half hours for volunteering students to pick up litter and unblock drains in the Braam Centre area. The students were cleaning the mostly student populated area as part of an environmental sustainability project called “Braam Street Sweep”.

Students volunteering in the project received a lot of support, especially from patriotic Zimbabweans who while passing by noticed the Zimbabwean flag and then joined in to lend a hand to their countryman.

“You guys should do more of this; it represents some of us who are also from Zim in the good light we would like to be represented. Keep it up and don’t forget your studies,” said one of the well-wishers who offered help to the students.

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Volunteers sweeped the sidewalks in the Braamfontein area. The second on the right wearing the Zimbabwean flag.

The students were a bit hesitant at first when they started cleaning but soon settled in to their duties. “At first, I was nervous but when people started offering their help I felt appreciated and the day went on easier,” said Zimsoc Events Coordinator, Tapiwa Chifamba.

The UJ Zimbabwean Students Society (Zimsoc) partnered with UJ Community Engagement and Sophia Town Residence for the clean-up.

The project was coordinated by Zimsoc Public Relations Officer (Ian Makaza), Community Engagement Officer (Denzel Mupfurutsa) and a facilitator from UJ Community Engagement at APK, Anoziva Gumbie.

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Students cleaned the drains in the streets of Braamfontein. Photo by Gaby Ndongo.

Several stakeholders from Zimsoc’s leadership were at the site where volunteering students were working. They soon realised that the work would be too strenuous for their small group.

“The initiative went on as planned even though we didn’t have as much manpower as we had hoped for. We managed to cover the great part of Braamfontein and I am satisfied with the work we did today,” said Makaza.

Other stakeholders were pleased with the outcome, pledging their support and others appreciating the chance it had given them to make a change.

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Students wore gloves and carried refuse bags. Photo by Gaby Ndongo.

“Today, I was representing our partners mainly UJ Community engagement and SophiaTown Residence and I can guarantee that this initiative will have many supporters in future. I am looking forward to our next run at community service,” said Gumbie.

One of the society member, Rutendo Zawu, said, “It was a great experience that made me feel like I was part of a bigger vision that will support sustainability in our everyday environment.” TOJ

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