Friday, 10 March 2017 4:11pm
The University of Otago’s 2017 Annual Appeal will support seven local and national projects aimed at providing “practical solutions for better, healthier lives”.
Otago’s Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) runs the appeal and says this year’s campaign title - “Shaping the Future Together” – was chosen to reflect the importance the University places on collaborative partnerships with community and national organisations.
Funds raised through the appeal would all go directly to the Centre for Translational Cancer Research’s child cancer research programme, an Alzheimer’s identification blood-testing programme, and the Legal Services Mapping Project which will provide more information about accessing free legal services, DARO Donor and Funding Manager Jude McCracken says.
Several appeal initiatives would directly benefit Otago students and the local community, including the University's undergraduate entrance scholarship programme and its Global Student Exchange Programme.
DARO was also very pleased to partner with the Otago University Volunteer Centre and Te Rūnanga o Ōtākau run Aspire Programme project, which pairs Year 8 secondary school pupils with Otago student-mentors, Mrs McCracken says
Pupils from low decile schools would spend Friday afternoons with student ‘coaches’ simulating campus-based activities.
“Spending a little time working on simulations at the Dental School or in the Anatomy Museum, or in a range of settings, may help demystify the university environment. Appeal funding would enable the magic of the Aspire Programme to go further so that more young people from the Dunedin community can connect with university students who are passionate about learning and contributing to positive social change,” University Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator Sze-En Watts says.
Regional South Island communities would benefit from the Aquavan marine conservation initiative. The Aquavan – a special vehicle fitted with chilled recirculating seawater tanks – will transport marine specimens and be used by the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre for community outreach initiatives, travelling to rural communities around the South Island to foster children’s science skills, and provide insights in to how land and freshwater management affects our coastal environment.
DARO hoped to exceed the $140,000 Appeal target, Mrs McCracken says.
“We are very proud to partner with this diverse range of groups to support their special projects because they make a significant, lasting difference not only to the University community but also our society. The organisation’s aims fit perfectly with the University’s goal, which is to support initiatives that take research into the real world to create practical solutions for better, healthier lives,” she says.