Photographer:Fotograaf: Ariane Sketcher
The profits of UCM merchandise – a student project that sells official UCM T-shirts and sweaters – don’t disappear into the pockets of the students. Rather, they end up in the bank account of a selected charity. This year, the money will go to an organisation that helps street children in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Three years ago UCM merchandise was launched by UCM student Alexandra van Nunen. This summer, she and her colleague Hester Lanting graduated and donated the now profitable project to UCM’s study association Universalis. “The annual profit is around €700”, says Anne Verroen, the treasurer of Universalis.
The two had only one condition: the profit should go to a charity chosen by the winner of a photo competition that was held for the first time at the end of the academic year 2009/10. Students could submit the funniest, sexiest, or most original or serious picture of a UCM T-shirt or sweater.
Ariane Sketcher, who took her photo on the active volcano Mount Marapi in West Sumatra, is the first winner. She chose Shishu Tori Sangstha (Shishu Tori means ‘children’s ferry’), an organisation that reaches out to children who are struggling for survival in the streets of Dhaka and have no other source of support. Shishu Tori Sangstha provides them with food, clothes, shelter, health care, informal education, recreational activities and vocational skills training.
The next photo competition has already started, says Verroen. “Students can send their nicest pictures with the UCM T-shirt or sweater to Universalis.”
The Charity Committee of the UCM study association is one of the ten nominees for the Student Award 2010. The winner will be announced during the opening of the 2010/11 academic year on 6 September.