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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. 

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Students aim to make a difference
2012-08-12

 
Besides their work with the learners, Legendary Bethulie also wants to expose them to the rich history of Bethulie and showcase the beauty of the small town. The town had the largest concentration camp during the Anglo Boer war and it boasts the longest bridge in South Africa – the DH Steyn Bridge, a 1,2 km rail and road bridge.

A group of students has taken the initiative to educate high school learners about different careers. They travelled 180 km to Bethulie, a small town in the southern Free State, to motivate, inspire and expose learners from the Wongalethu Senior Secondary School to different career paths. This event will take place in Bethulie again at the end of the first term next year.

The event was organised by the Legendary Bethulie group, which is campaigning for a child development programme, community centre and also to develop further the annual Bethulie career exhibition. The group intends to equip children from Bethulie and nearby towns with the necessary skills to be successful in life, irrespective of their home backgrounds. The group also wants to expose them to different career paths as well as offer tutoring opportunities. It also aims to minimise the number of learners who become victims of drug abuse and HIV.

The organisation is still growing and would like to access funding from different institutions and companies as it is currently financed by the community.

Students who wish to take part in next year’s event can contact Luyanda Lunga Noto at luyanda.noto@gmail.com.
- Luyanda Noto
 

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