SIFE UP on the lips of every student...

Posted on March 17, 2010

Since its inception in 2008, Students in Free Enterprise; University of Pretoria Chapter, or SIFE UP, has developed a reputation of excellence and innovation. However, with the organization still in its infancy, few were aware of the programme and its aims. As such, the 2010 SIFE UP Executive Committee, under the leadership of the 2010 President Anthony Townsend, undertook the task of showing all of UP how SIFE UP is being the change we want to see in the world (also the society’s slogan) one community at a time.

The primary aim of SIFE UP is to create economic opportunity for communities in need by encouraging university students, who are innovative and passionate about assisting others, to develop and implement strategic community upliftment initiatives that cater for the unique needs of each community. The current President had this to say about SIFE UP: “In essence, SIFE UP involves empowering yourself, by empowering others. SIFE UP ultimately aims to create responsible and altruistic business leaders of tomorrow, by developing socially responsible students today.”

At present, SIFE UP has approximately 30 community upliftment projects running for their 2010 programme. These initiatives range from the development of commercial farming in the resource poor community of Thokosa in Mpumalanga, to direct business interventions in partnership with GEP (Gauteng Enterprise Propeller) in which they assist SMME’s (small, medium and micro- enterprises) to increase their production efficiency and profits. Other initiatives cater for more specialized needs such as women empowerment through jewelry production and crafting or involve macroscopic community amelioration as is the case with the Shongi Soccer Project based in Kagiso, Krugersdorp. To date, this highly successful initiative has resulted in the installation of a FIFA approved soccer pitch in the community as well as the construction of a resource centre which contains a library, prayer centre, recycling facility and computer lab. These are but a few examples of the many life changing initiatives that SIFE UP is presently running and the list continues to grow.

Aside from the obvious positive impact of these upliftment projects on the communities involved, each and every SIFE UP member also enjoys a number of benefits as a result of participation. The most important of these include CV building (as SIFE is a global organization affiliated with major business leaders around the world), personal enrichment, valuable business and life skills acquisition and, of course, the opportunity to network with major business figures and some of the top students from every faculty of UP. Juan Miranda, a SIFE UP member stated that “SIFE impacts on your life in so many ways. It develops both your mind and you heart as you not only learn valuable skills but also the importance of impacting on the lives of others”.

Anthony Townsend is the current President of SIFE UP.

Anthony Townsend
071 688 8203
HSB 13-24

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