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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UN-SPIDER expert appointed at UFS Risk Management Centre
2017-06-02

Description: Dr Joerg Szarzynski Tags: Dr Joerg Szarzynski

Dr Joerg Szarzynski, head of the EduSphere section
and Education Programme Director at the
United Nations University, Institute for Environment
and Human Security.
Photo: Supplied

“This new development will strengthen the long-lasting collaboration between DiMTEC and the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn in Germany. This [collaboration] goes back for almost a decade of joint training courses and increasingly also includes collaboration in the frame of scientific projects, especially in Africa.”

These were the words of Dr Joerg Szarzynski after his appointment as Affiliated Associate Professor to the Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC) at the University of the Free State (UFS). Dr Szarzynski will assume his new position with immediate effect.
 
The United Nations University (UNU) is a global thinktank and postgraduate teaching organisation headquartered in Japan.

Dr Szarzynski, head of the EduSphere section and Education Programme Director at UNU-EHS, brings with him a wealth of experience, including serving as senior expert to the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER). Within the team, he was principal desk officer for Africa responsible for relief activities after natural disasters, technical consultation, information management, collaborative network development and the cluster on health and climate change adaptation. He also has broad expertise in climatology and remote sensing, global environmental change research, capacity-building and web-based data and information management.

“Dr Szarzynski’s appointment brings
new research opportunities.”

Lecture focus on vulnerability and disaster risk reduction
As part of his new academic responsibilities, Dr Szarzynski will conduct face-to-face lectures during a course on vulnerability and disaster risk-reduction. With this course the centre aims to increase awareness of the complexity and importance of vulnerability and resilience in the field of disaster risk management. Dr Szarzynski’s teachings will focus on Early Warning Systems and Geospatial Technologies in Support of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Emergency Response Preparedness. He will also lead courses on Assessment and Coordination in International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response and Information Technology in Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management.

Furthermore he will give lectures via distance learning for the wider curriculum at DiMTEC.

Collaboration between DiMTEC and UNU
Dr Andries Jordaan, Director of DiMTEC at the UFS said: “His appointment opens new networks within the United Nations system, which brings new research opportunities. Furthermore, his expertise is important to us. He has already provided input and delivered lectures through Skype in the course of Information Technology and Communication.”

Dr Szarzynski has been lecturing for the past 10 years in the UFS’ international PhD curriculum.

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