15 June 2020 | Story Amanda Thongha

WATCH: Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Susan Van Jaarveld, Senior Director at the Department of Human Sources, and Brandon Jacobs, Head of Retail and Business Banking at Standard Bank, Central Free State explain what the “I Am’ Wellness programme is about.


Maintaining a healthy work-life balance continues to be a juggling act for most, more so during this uncertain time dominated by COVID-19. To help individuals cope with life challenges, the University of the Free State (UFS) has launched a new short learning programme that addresses all aspects of well-being.

The ‘I Am’ Wellness short learning programme, open to UFS staff, private individuals, and businesses, kicks off on 19 June 2020. A number of prominent South Africans participating in the launch of the ‘I Am’ Wellness short learning programme are, among others, Kovsie alumna and former Miss World, Rolene Strauss; former Miss South Africa, Amy Kleinhans; and motivational speaker and author, Alison Botha. Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela rounds off the list of public figures who have also expressed interest in the programme.

Burneline Kaars, Head of Organisational Development and Employee Wellness at the UFS, says those interested in the programme can look forward to content focusing on different topics and themes related to wellness aspects. Participants will discover the fun of finding ways to improve their health and well-being through activities, games, quizzes, and many more.

“Upon completion of this programme, participants will be equipped to understand and improve their own personal and work-related well-being. They will be empowered to increase their own well-being and reach their optimal potential in both their personal and work life.”

The programme, a joint effort of the UFS Division of Organisational Development and Employee Wellness and the UFS Department of Industrial Psychology, can be completed online or as part of contact sessions, depending on the needs of the participants. Participants need to avail themselves four hours a week to successfully complete the programme. Those who master the two-month programme will also receive a certificate of completion from the UFS.

The programme is offered to UFS staff at no cost. External audiences will pay R9 500 per person to complete the programme. Groups of 10 and more will get a special discount when signing up.

Registration for the formal programme opens on Wednesday, 24 June 2020.

For more information, contact Burneline Kaars at KaarsB@ufs.ac.za.

Other programmes done by the UFS Organisational Development and Employee Wellness office:

First #MentalHealth awareness run to Stellenbosch to bring hope
Kovsies pedal smoothie bike for #MentalHealth


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