27 July 2023 | Story Danelle Fisher | Photo Supplied
Environmental Workshop
The Division of Student Affairs donated these earthworm boxes to the students who participated in the workshops.

The brazing cold winter morning of Saturday 22 July 2023 did not deter University of the Free State (UFS) students as they attended the Environmental Cluster Workshop, hosted by the Division of Student Affairs to develop practical and entrepreneurial skills. 

The workshop, held at the RAG Farm on the Bloemfontein Campus, had students participating in educative and fun activities, including making eco-bricks and maintaining a worm farm.

Gernus Terblanche from Kovsie Support Services and Assistant Researcher in the division, said: "The aim of this workshop is to get students involved in practical skills development programmes that can help them develop sustainable and entrepreneurial mindsets. We want to teach our students that sustainable living can be engaging and fun."

The event was attended by students from the Kovsie ACT office, commuter and residence students, staff from the Division of Student Affairs, and Councillor Tjaart van der Walt from Ward 23, Universitas.

"We were interested in seeing how we could turn some of the waste generated on campus into practical solutions that are easy to implement in the space," remarked Gernus, saying that the workshop was an initiative ‘that came to fruition through community partners who share the same knowledge around these techniques.

The programme for the day consisted of indigenous building techniques, furniture design and marketing, and finally earthworm farming.

"The sessions were led by Dr Anita Venter, Lecturer in the Centre for Development Support, two of our very capable student facilitators – Alinah and Innocentia – and one of our wonderful community partners and master indigenous building experts, Mr Lenosa," states Terblanche.

The workshop was a success, and Terblanche and his team were able to donate six new worm farming boxes to the five participating colleges and the group of commuter students. 

"We were unfortunately unable to do the natural building technique workshop due to very cold weather, but that workshop is expected to happen in September," concluded Terblanche. 

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