In May, international students at the MU Faculty of Medicine organised a charity week where they sold homemade cakes and muffins, collected non-perishable food, clothes, and toys and organised a number of events. By the end of the week, they had raised 110,000 Czech crowns along with lots of food, clothes, and toys, which have now been distributed among three charities.
“It was the first time we had ever organised a charity week and even though we planned to make it a tradition, we didn’t expect it to become so big at the first attempt. About 60 volunteers helped us with the organisation it and the total number of people involved was around 500,” says Rahil Siddique, the chairman of the charity committee, who is currently finishing the sixth semester of his general medicine studies.
He organised the event together with other students from the Masaryk International Medical Students Association (MIMSA). During the first week of May, MIMSA members sold cakes and other delicacies in the corridors of the university campus and the faculty building at Komenského náměstí. They also visited the paediatric oncology department every day, ran a fundraiser to collect food, clothes, and toys and also organised several sporting events.
Siddique gives us the details: “The non-perishable food went to the Community of Sant’Egidio, the clothes to the Salvation Army, and the toys to the Endowment Fund of Pediatric Oncology Krtek. The money we raised also went to the fund and has already been accepted by Jaroslav Štěrba, the head of the Clinic of Pediatric Oncology.” He adds that the original goal was to raise 27,000 crowns, which means that they were able to raise four times more than originally planned.
Everyday life at the faculty also got a lot livelier thanks to the fundraiser. Students organised events such as a badminton tournament, a charity run, a basketball tournament, and a futsal match.
“As medical students, we are constantly involved in some form of charity, whether volunteer visits to the paediatric departments or helping the homeless. But we want to do more. The goal for next year is to involve the whole Faculty of Medicine in the charity week,” adds Siddique.