By Usher Kulusum
As a demonstration of care and concern for another, Uganda Christian University society came up with a campaign known as “save a buddy”. A campaign that aims at contributing any shillings from students to help their friends who have not enough money for their tuition to sit their exams.
Save a buddy campaign is held every semester with the financial aid office. It subscribes to a belief that if many people give little the little becomes much. This usually takes place towards tuition deadlines every semester.
The campaign raises funds from both the students and staff members. There are many fundraising designated points at the university were fundraises are dropped in the collecting boxes. These are put at the entrance gates, classes, university halls, dining hall the chapel and parks around campus.
According to Walter Washika the financial aid officer, “save a buddy has helped many students who failed to raise tuition in the previous years and it continues to touch lives.”
He adds that they prioritize students in their final semester and contact their parents or guardians before giving their support to ensure that it is the deserving students that get the support.
This was started in 2018 by the guild president of the……..after the university had offered 15 million shillings to 75 students who had failed to sit for exams because of tuition balances.
the university therefore decided they will always contribute 10 million shillings every year as part of the guild funds to help fellow students.
Each year the number of the needy increased and therefore they started a campaign in 2013 that the students and staff should consider contributing the little .and also fundraising from other people willing to offer some amounts of money to these students.
There are also commitment forms available at the financial office for students and staff who wish to pledge for this cause. Payments are sometimes made directly to the save a buddy account through cash payments at the accounts office.
DebraKansiime a graduate in fashion and design says; I managed to sit my exams because I applied for save a buddy funds and was successful. This makes me proud of my university and to all those who participate in donating to the less privileged.”
She adds that students should not sit back and look for money in the evil way but apply for the mighty save a buddy.” I am happy to be a beneficiary of this campaign.”
According to Eric Bora Musasiri the current guild financial minister says these funds are just a top up of the guild funds from the minister of education.” Students register with the minister of education and as the guild team we make follow ups for the cause”.
Before one acquires the top up, the guild cabinet seats and writes a requisition to the minister of education Uganda Christian University honorable Samuel Kazibwe requesting him to requisite for the needy students at campus from the university board of directors.
This year 2018 they received an amount of 10,000,000 Ughs.Says the financial minister.
According to Duncan Bakashaba guild Minster of internal affairs 2016-2017 says at least 7,000,000 million shillings was collected from the fundraise in the university society last year. And the guild fund was 10,000,000 million shilling ,at least more than 50 students managed to have the top up.
The following are the procedures of acquiring the guild support funds (save a buddy funds).First, one has to pick the requisition later at the guild office and then apply with signatures of the friends. These forms are therefore sent to the finance office for approval.
The financial aid officer approves if the person applying has a debt and her current paying status. The applicant must be a needy,good performer with a first class or second upper and their modes of payment in the previous tuition must be poor or disturbing.
If one qualifies then the names are forwarded to the minister of education. This is where he sends the names to the guild president and from the guild president to the UCU financial aid officer for approval.
After the vetting of the names a sum of 10,000,000 millionis forwarded to the guild account through the finance minister and financial aid UCU.
The guild cabinet is therefore allowed to launch the save buddy campaign in university as a form of fundraising from the UCU fraternity.
These student are therefore engaged in car washes, toilet cleaning and other different activities.At the end of the campaign a sum of 200,000 shillings is given to them with the consent of their parents through the guild account.
The records officer Simon Tusubira says at the end of the guild terms these records are then read to the students to account for their sincere participation, the amount collected and what it was used for.
In his speech he says the records are kept in his office and also the academics office even after the guild cabinet has read accountability from the finance officer for future purposes or references.