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Lucy Bryant

The Amnesty International Stellenbosch branch is hosting a clothes and blankets drive to distribute to those in need this winter. The drive commenced on 23 April and will end on 4 May (Friday).

Ornila Serga, outreach coordinator of the Stellenbosch Amnesty International branch said that the purpose of the clothing drive is to “honour the physiological need of comfort and shelter as a basic human right”.

She added that the outreach done by the organisation includes arranging events such as drives, campaigns and other events that are beneficial to the community. “Outreach done by Amnesty International is a proliferation of our ideologies in a manner that is more tangible and vivid,” said Serage. “It is to bring people the comfort and warmth that has been stripped away from them.”

She hopes that the clothing drive will bring about more awareness of the Amnesty International organisation to the Stellenbosch campus.

Serage explained that her goal is to have the clothing drive incite a “spirit of solidarity and servitude among students and to make people who are in positions of privilege understand and think more about the importance of community and giving”.

The drop-off points for the donated items are located at Stellenbosch University’s residences, Harmonie and Simonsberg, as well as LLL Village. These items will be donated to The Night Shelter, a homeless shelter located in Stellenbosch.

Amnesty International is a “nongovernmental organisation that is committed to the advancement and protection of human rights,” according to their Facebook page. The local Amnesty International branch is run by students and aims to ensure that the organisation transposes what Amnesty International does as a whole and brings that into a Stellenbosch context.

Serage said her role as coordinator is to “bring the organisation closer to Stellenbosch communities and to provide support in ways that reflect the organisation’s ideological purpose, which is to protect human rights and to hold those accountable who violate the rights”.

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