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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

Kovsie conquers Googlefest Zurich pitching competition
2014-07-29

  

Marlize Holtzhauzen
Photo: Supplied

Marlize Holtzhauzen, a final-year Business Management and Leadership student at the UFS Business School, was recently awarded the 1st prize at the Google pitching competition in Zurich, Switzerland.

Holtzhauzen’s winning entry, Rapid Response, is a mobile application for use in emergency situations. In an emergency the application allows the phone to be used as a panic button which contacts emergency services and notifies the family of the user. The app, co-founded by Gerrit Cloete, was selected as one of 10 South African technology start-ups. These were part of the Swiss South African Business Development Programme under the auspices of the Swiss South African Joint Research Programme.

Since its launch on 1 July 2014, the Rapid Response app has had over 400 downloads and is available on app stores. It has also stirred interest in Europe and the USA and is already in use in Southern and East Africa. Holtzhauzen says good team work and a great product will ensure the success of this start-up in the future.

Other South African entries included Drew van der Riet from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN): Advanced Prosthetics Engineering. Gavin Jones of the University of Cape Town (UCT) also entered. He is a Technology Commercialisation practitioner candidate working on the commercialisation of a UCT innovation for the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

For more information contact Marlize on +27(0)83 3270 177 or visit the website www.rapidresponse.co.za .


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