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Students raise funds for flood-stricken Kerala

By UCOL on Friday, 31 August 2018

A photograph of the participants in the Kerala fundraiser lunch at UCOL in August 2018

Indian students studying at UCOL have raised $1140 for those effected by the flooding in the Indian State of Kerala.

Indian students held a fundraising lunch in the UCOL Atrium on 28 August, where they sold Indian dishes including butter chicken, vegetable kurma, and a dessert called gulab jamun.  

All money raised will be donated to the Indian High Commission in Wellington to help with the relief efforts in Kerala. 

The event was organised by students Gibu Joseph, Christy Abraham, and Vishnu Narayanan with the help of their fellow Indian students after being approached by UCOL International Student Support Coordinator Cam Lock.

L-R: Gibu Joseph, Lino Thomas and Christy Abraham.

“Cam asked us to form a group to come up with ideas to raise funds. We decided to organise an event to sell food and donate the proceeds to the relief fund. It was a wonderful event,” says Christy. 

Gibu Joseph, a UCOL student from Kerala, says it has been hard seeing the devastation back home and not being able to provide physical support to those in need.  

“I was really shocked after hearing the news of the devastating flood and landslides in Kerala. It has affected most of my friends and family members back home. Since I couldn’t give any physical support to them, I was really disappointed.” 

“When UCOL came up with the idea of hosting an event for fundraising, all the Indian students were enthusiastic to extend their full support. We thank the efforts of Navajo Steak House, who helped us with preparing the meal. We were happy to see the contribution Kiwis have made to this fundraiser. We have exceeded our expectation.” 

Lino Thomas, a recent UCOL cookery graduate, served as the head chef with support from Navajo Steakhouse owner Aki Negi and the other students. The food was the result of a six-hour cooking session which began at 5am that morning. 

UCOL has 130 students from India across the Palmerston North and Whanganui campuses, many of whom are from Kerala.