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Ms Mercy Raphalalani (middle) receiving the donation

On 01 December 2021, The University of Venda (UNIVEN) held a meeting to donate funds to “Stop the Spot” Non-Profit Organsation to assist disadvantaged students at UNIVEN and the surrounding communities. The meeting was held at University Council chamber and was chaired by Mr. Thabo Dikgale, Partnership Officer, International Relations and Partnerships (IRP), UNIVEN. Mr. Dikgale acknowledged the leadership of the university represented by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni and his Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Corporate Services, Dr Robert Martin. Mr. Dikgale highlighted the purpose and background of the event, noting that this event signifies and underscores the solidarity between UNIVEN and the community that it serves. 

During his opening and welcoming remarks, Dr Nthambeleni mentioned the importance of this event to the university, particularly its intimate connection to civil society, NGOs, activist groups as well as small to medium-sized enterprise (SME’s) around the community. Dr Nthambeleni noted that it is paramount that the university foster meaningful engagements with the community, as this will ensure its survival as well as guarantee its contribution towards the development of all its stakeholders. He further explained the role played by the university in supporting organisations such as “Stop the Spot”, noting that the university must applaud the organisation for the work undertaken thus far and continue to provide the requisite support. 

The Vice-Chancellor further stated that he is delighted to see a programme initiated by students endeavoring to serve and assist fellow students and surrounding communities. This type of initiative aligns very well with university’s mission of “being locally relevant and globally competitive”. Dr Nthambeleni concluded by expressing his gratitude to the “Stop the Spot” organization and commended Dr Segun Obadire, the Acting Director, IRP in facilitating such programmes. 

During her appreciation message, Ms Mercy Raphalalani, Founder, “Stop the Spot” gave a brief background about the Organisation including its goals, values, and achievements. She stated that the aim of the Organisation is to uplift students around campus, the Thulamela municipality schools and communities through various programmes which include fostering cultural diversity, eliminating domestic violence and gender-based violence. The NPO also donates food parcels sanitary towels and stationaries to destitute families. About 40 students benefitted from the NPO this year. 

Providing the vote of thanks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Corporate Services, Dr Robert Martin acknowledged all the guests and further commended “Stop the Spot” for the incredible work and service they are providing to the university and the community. He expressed his gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor and the university management for providing an environment where such initiatives can thrive. He thanked the IRP Directorate staff under the leadership of Dr Obadire for taking the initiative to recognise the incredible service spirit espoused by “Stop the Spot”. In his final remarks, Dr Martin pleaded with “Stop the Spot” to also deal with first year student issues and provide them with the guidance and support that will lead them towards a brighter future. 

Issued by: 

Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710 
Date: 10 December 2021 

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