Endowment dinner success and its touching impact on financially needy students

By Luyando Theodora Mkenda

As explained in the opening speech, an endowment is a donation of money or property to a non-profit organization which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose. On June 24, 2022, the Student Council hosted an endowment dinner that took place at Safari Park Hotel and Casino to raise money towards financial aid, scholarships and extracurricular activities.

The night started off with the capturing of pictures, all of which portrayed the glamour of the black-tie event and the delightful atmosphere filled with entertainment and pleasantries.

Overall, the dinner was a success as it met the targeted attendance and raised a total of 3.6 million Kenyan Shillings thanks to generous donations from the Electoral College, Mr and Miss USIU committee, guest of honour Dr. Jacob Ogola and many more.

During the speeches, plenty of guests expressed admiration for the cause around such an event, but the speech that stood out was by Nicole Sulwey (third-year student majoring in International Relations, double minoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Peace and Conflict) when she shared her story of how such funds help students who are not able to pay for their education.

“This semester when I came back to university, my last semester’s fees hadn’t been fully paid and it was really frustrating, and I was opting to take a semester break,” Miss Sulwey narrates. She continued to explain how support from Bendard Opondo, SC Chairperson, and Kesuma Laizer, SC Social Welfare, enabled more than half of her fee debt to be paid off in two weeks.

Listening to the impact that fundraising events have put into perspective its importance. Nicole Sulwey’s story is the epitome of every student who has been helped and now is able to continue with their education thanks to funds raised by any and every USIU-Africa event.

“After we were elected into office, we as a council realized that students’ activities are underfunded and noticed several students failed to complete their studies due to financial constraints,” Kesuma Laizer from the student council explains, “we came up with the endowment fund which will help keep financially needy students in classes and fund students’ activities.” The Student Council will hold the endowment dinner on a yearly basis; however, it is just one of the activities that will go into fundraising.

A percentage of money from ticket sales in other activities such as the upcoming VC Half Marathon taking place on July 17 will also be directed towards the endowment fund. The Endowment Fund will be managed by the Student Council. The percentage that is channelled to sponsoring students will be transferred to the financial aid office and the percentage geared towards supporting students’ activities will be channelled to the respective offices.

Photos courtesy of Oliver Njeru.

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