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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

Bring back dignity to our schoolgirls
2015-03-10

A Kovsie student initiative is currently crying out to the community at large to help in realising a dream of helping school learners who come from poor families to gain confidence in their school work and social lives generally. 

 

This initiative by Nkanyezi Talk @UFS aims to do this through the provision of sanitary towels to such learners at the onset of puberty.

 

“Through research, we have established that some learners face numerous challenges during this stage, with some using socks as a substitute for sanitary towels while others opt for newspapers. This raises a lot of health and psychological concerns,” says project coordinator Bongani Zwane.

 

According to research conducted by UNICEF in 2013, one in ten girls who cannot afford sanitary towels will miss a week of schooling during the cycle of their period. This is because they fear being ridiculed by other learners, and because their dignity as girls is not being respected. This absence from school also happens because they do not understand what is happening to their bodies.

 

“What should be a celebration of womanhood becomes a time of shame and embarrassment with dire consequences for the girls’ education as well as their future,” Zwane adds.

 

“We therefore appeal to everyone to help us realise this dream of making sure that we reduce the number of schoolgirls who do not attend school during their menstruation periods, and restore their dignity by donating sanitary towels.

 

“Overall, we have already collected more than 1000 packs of sanitary towels. The office of Cornelia Faasen, our acting dean of Student Affairs, has also endorsed the campaign and already donated 600 packs of sanitary towels,” says Zwane.

 

“We have set ourselves the goal of collecting and donating 10 000 (ten thousand) sanitary towels in total.”

 

 

Methods of Donating

 

Nkanyezi Talk @UFS welcomes any physical donations of sanitary towels and financial donations through their UFS entity number 1/466/08119 only.

 

For more information on how and where to donate, please contact project coordinator Bongani Zwane at 079 237 5089 or email him to bzwane@workmail.co.za.

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