Gero Wassweiler lives near Frankfurt in Germany with his beautiful wife and eight month old son. He
worked as an IT specialist before registering for his PhD degree in the Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology at Unisa. He has been serving as pastor at an urban church since 2012. Wassweiler was the 10th person to use the university online donation system. Find out more about his experience in using the system.
How user friendly was the online donating platform?
It was very easy. I just clicked through the well explained process on the web.
Which thematic area did you donate to?
I donated towards Student Access and Success. I believe that everybody should have the opportunity to study. Nowadays, good education is unfortunately very costly. At the same time, no one should be excluded from accessing education because of a lack of funding.
What does it mean in today’s world to give towards a cause?
I believe it is very important to give your time and money towards a cause. In that way the student is able to focus their energy on educating themselves and not in trying to source funding. I have seen that educated people are able to change and impact the world and the communities positively because I think they have the obligation to use their knowledge. Many people think that only money can change the world but it is people who make a difference. Education should be a privilege for every one and not a few.
Were you ever worried about the security of your transaction?
At no time was I ever worried about the security of my transaction. I knew it was confidential, private and convenient for me to use the online platform.
Will you recommend to your friends and colleagues to match your donation or to donate directly?
Yes, I would recommend Unisa’s cause to my friends and colleagues. We usually collect in our congregation of the Stadtmission once a year for the educational institution where the pastor and staff studied. So I plan this for our congregation in 2017.
You can make a contribution like Gero
How will your donation be used?
When using Unisa’s secure online donations platform, you will be asked to select an area in which you would like your contribution to make a difference. Here’s a brief explanation of each of the four thematic areas:
Student access and success
In many places across the globe—South Africa and the United States among them—the overwhelming cost of higher education prevents many promising young minds from unlocking the opportunities of learning. In South Africa, we saw this struggle manifest in the #FeesMustFall campaign, while American students have gathered in protests and the #MillionStudentMarch. With scholarships and financial assistance, Unisa makes it possible for students coming from poor backgrounds to access education, thereby breaking down racial, financial and class barriers to education. Through your support of Unisa, you can make a student´s dream of higher education a reality.
Creating the next generation of academics
The “brain drain” from Africa is well-documented and poses a pronounced threat to the long-term development of the continent. This is true amongst many skilled professions, and academics are no exception. At Unisa, we believe in growing and nurturing our own talent for sustainable growth and quality in African education. By targeting the development of a new and young cohort of academics in various disciplines across the university, it becomes possible to build strong careers for these individuals while simultaneously sustaining the wealth of knowledge and skill garnered over the years.
We´ve understood from the beginning that many individuals, for reasons of distance, disability or otherwise, may be unable to physically attend school on campus. But this does not mean that the promise of education should be denied to them. From its role as the first correspondence university in 1946 to innovative incorporation of online media and other technology today, Unisa makes it possible for students to engage with courses and learning where, when and how they find to be most convenient. Yet this means a constant upgrading of our technological capacity, digitisation of resources and more, ensuring that our students never miss a beat in their learning process. Through your support of Unisa, you can create an international network of excellence in education.
Advancing research and innovation
In today’s world and economy, technology and innovation play an increasingly important role to spur and sustain growth and development. At the core, we see science, engineering and technology as pivotal to transforming developing economies. With tens of thousands of student currently in scientific programmes of study, we have made significant investments in these fields, including the development of a dedicated Science Campus to advance knowledge and research to address national needs as well as seek sustainable solutions to some of the world´s most pressing challenges.
Through your support of Unisa, you can build capacity on the continent for future learning and safeguard tomorrow. Please send us your experiences of the system. Your opinions will count towards helping us making the giving journey much more worthwhile. Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
*By Busisiwe Mahlangu