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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

Eco-building workshop and rehabilitation through collaboration
2017-03-17

Description: Eco-building workshop  Tags: Eco-building workshop

A demonstration of eco-building at Lebone Village
recreation centre
Photo: Supplied

An intimate learning platform was created when Velile Phantsi and Mokoena Maphalane, two community members who had received training in eco-building from the University of the Free State (UFS) Centre for Development Support (CDS) under the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, presented a workshop for 10 Free State psychiatric patients in Bloemfontein on 23 February 2017.

Building self-sustaining communities
The training programme took place at Lebone Village recreation centre, at a structure that was built through the eco-building initiative, Qala Phelang Tala (Start Living Green). The collaboration between the Department of Occupational Therapy at the Faculty of Health Sciences and CDS has the potential to address unemployment and housing backlogs and forms a significant part of the rehabilitation of vulnerable people. It has also created prospects for community-based research.

Training and support to rehabilitate vulnerable people
Following the sharing of skills, the Department of Occupational Therapy will continue to work with patients through this community engagement project. Trainees will receive support in building a recreation centre structure at their own complex. During the presentation Mokoena Maphalane shared his personal experience of how physical activity such as eco-building helped him recover from the debilitating effects of a stroke. It is something he hopes will assist other patients in the future. 

More information on eco-building.


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