With less than two weeks to go before more than 23 trailblazers head to South America where they will tackle the 43km Inca Trail in Machu Picchu, NMMU students yesterday walked a 4.3km trail to symbolise the fundraising walk in Peru.
NMMU vice-chancellor Derrick Swartz and thirdyear public management student Nandipha Jack, 23, are set to leave next Sunday in an attempt to raise R4-million for 160 academically deserving but financially needy students as part of the #Trailblazing campaign.
The campaign has raised more than R1-million to date. Swartz, who has been training daily, said he was excited and inspired.
“This effort is for the students who have been failed by the higher education system in that sense. It is always a great shame when a student is 80% done with their diploma and can’t carry on because they owe fees for a few modules,” Swartz said.
Recalling his climb up Mount Fiji last year, which saw Swartz raise more than R1.1-million, he said this time around he was more prepared.
“The important thing is to plan and listen to your body and to nature, and know that it’s not about how fast you can go but it’s all about endurance,” Swartz said.
Jack, of New Brighton, said the campaign was relevant to her as she had also struggled as a student needing money to complete her studies.