07 May 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa
Social Support Unit launch
UFS Social Support Unit: Certain about uncertainty, comfortable with discomfort

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs develops and implements co-curricular programmes, activities, and services that provide humanising daily-lived experiences to cultivate academic success, prosocial behaviour, student engagement and an inclusive institutional culture.

In April 2019, the DSA officially launched the UFS Social Support Unit, which seeks to offer support to students in need by assisting and aiding them to thrive and maintain high levels of overall well-being through interventions that facilitate a supportive environment for learning.

The unit aims to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance student success and wellbeing through social-support interventions, including family-related matters, sexual/gender-based violence interventions and referrals, food support, and other emergency social-support needs. 

According to Assistant Director: Kovsie Support Services, Elizabeth Msadu, “the Social Support Unit services are not limited to what has been stipulated in their mandate, as students are different, come from diverse backgrounds, and will likely experience varied and divergent  issues and dilemmas, since they are all unique and experience life differently.” 

The Social Support Office is located in Steve Biko House, Rooms 153 and 158. In addition to the services and interventions provided by the unit, Mojaki Mothibi, Assistant Officer for the Social Support Unit explained that students will also be provided with financial support through co-curricular sponsorships for academic (conferences and seminars) and leadership development (national and international conferences, seminars and community engagement programmes). He further said that students could also be supported in terms of their general social well-being in cases of bereavement, hardship mitigation, and other pressing issues they may face on a daily basis.