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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

CDS receives another international grant from the NIH
2015-12-11

 

Dr Carla Sharp

The Centre for Development Support (CDS) is partner to another international research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. The new project follows an earlier project funded by the NIH, which focused on the mental health of orphans and vulnerable children.

The new project is to focus on investigating possible improvements in the mental health and cognitive development of orphaned and vulnerable children aged between seven and eleven years, by means of improved community-based care in the Mangaung Township area in Bloemfontein.  The project will stretch over three years and has a budget of approximately R10 million.

“We shall use the Mediational Intervention of Sensitizing Caregivers (MISC) approach and it will be applied by community-based organisations,” says Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Acting Director of the CDS. 

MISC applied by caregivers has produced good results elsewhere in the world. “This is the first time MISC will be tested by community-based organisations,” says Prof Lochner Marais of the CDS, who is also the principal investigator in South Africa.

“In addition to working with four community-based organisations in Mangaung, Childline Free State will also be actively involved in the project,” Marais added.

The project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr Carla Sharp as principal investigator at the University of Houston, and Prof Michael Boivin (an international expert on MISC) at the Michigan State University. Dr Sharp was recently appointed visiting professor at the CDS. 

“It is indeed a great privilege to be working with the CDS on yet another project,” Dr Sharp remarked, also noting that “the project is preliminary in nature and could evolve into a much bigger research project in future”.

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