As part of our Community Development Projects, we organised The Big Walk and managed to raise funds for cancer. R50 000 has been donated to one of our students and it is our hope that this fund continues to assist our students and our community.
The prevalence of students being affected by cancer has prompted Belgium Campus to come up with ways to raise funds for cancer. Every year we organise different community projects through the Academic Leadership Programme. This year, these projects have been combined under the ‘Unite Against Cancer’ theme and have all led up to the Big Walk. The Big Walk, a brain child of our Operations Director, Natasja Rombouts is the first to be hosted by Belgium Campus.
Another innovative first is the development of The Big Walk safety app which allowed participants to track where they were, request assistance and report emergency situations. This application is available for Android users in the Google Play store.
Speaking at the closing ceremony after a long and grueling day of walking for a good cause, our Director of Operations Natasja Rombouts who marshaled the whole event thanked all participants, sponsors, Belgium Campus students and staff for working diligently in organising the event and making it a success.
Pink Drive also played a pivotal role in organising this event. All women present at the event had the opportunity to get screened for breast cancer in the Pink Drive mammography unit truck.
The leader of the pack, Ntulo Otto Thuso, a 3rd-year student at Belgium Campus finished the walk in seven hours. ‘’It’s been a long day, I didn’t think I would be the first one, I am thrilled because I did this for a good cause’’, said an exhausted Thoso. “Playing soccer during my spare time has given me great resilience. The 50 kilometres was excruciating but I managed to finish first, I am very proud of myself.”
The first woman to finish the walk was 61 year old Dinah Pholoba who looked unfazed at the end of the walk. “I have two jobs, one here in Sixth street and another one just after Nina park Spar. I walk every day to both my jobs and I am so used to it, as you can see I can still walk another 50 kilometres,” said a visibly beaming Dinah.
All participants were determined to finish the walk but a few didn’t make it. They were however still very happy to have participated.
I was so determined to finish the walk but I couldn’t. I did my part and contributed to a good cause. I promise next time I will be better prepared for the walk. I am determined to finish it, that is going to be one of my 2017 resolutions”, said Cosmas, a Lecturer at Belgium Campus.
Over 50 participants began the walk with much zeal and excitement at 5 am and braved the 50-kilometre walk. Prof Enrico Jacobs, Benjamin Ntuli and Natasja Rombouts, all participated in the walk and led by example in this charitable event.