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25 April 2019 | Story Mamosa Makaya

Since 2016, the University of the Free State Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has received a grant from First National Bank worth R2 498 000, which supports tertiary bursaries for students with disabilities. Bursary holders are funded through CUADS, as the administrator of the bursaries.
  
These are students enrolled for various academic programmes who require academic assistance and/or assistive devices such as electronic handheld magnifiers, laptops, and hearing aids. The FNB grant also covers tuition, accommodation, study material and books, and meals.  The success of the grant is already evident, with one of the recipients having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2018. A second student was capped at the April 2019 graduations with a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying.
 
Supporting the principles of the ITP

The UFS received the grant from FNB in instalments, starting in the 2016 academic year to date, supporting the needs of 40 disabled students. This grant and the work of CUADS speaks to and supports the principles of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP), namely inclusivity, transformation, and diversity. The vision of the Universal Access work stream is to enable the UFS to create an environment where students with disabilities can experience all aspects of student life equal to their non-disabled peers. The ITP provides for the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities as an important lesson in social justice and an opportunity to reinforce university values.

The successful administration of the grant to benefit past and present students is a ‘feather in the cap’ of CUADS, and is a shining example of the impact of public private investment and the endless possibilities that open up when there is a commitment to developing future leaders in academic spaces, allowing them to thrive by creating a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering. 



News Archive

Rag spreads the spirit of Ubuntu in Dinaweng informal settlement
2015-08-25

 

The Rag Committee teamed up with Prowess to create the first pop-up Street Store in Bloemfontein, as part of the Ubuntu Community Store Project. On 22 August 2015, the residents of Dinaweng had the opportunity to get hold of new and second-hand clothing free of charge. Soup and bread were also served to the children and the elders of the area, which is all too familiar to the media for its high unemployment, crime, and prostitution rates.

How do clothes represent Ubuntu?

From Tubatsi Moloi’s perspective, this is the team’s way of demonstrating that Ubuntu does not exist merely as a philosophy. The Rag Committee shows compassion to communities that lack resources essential to leading a dignified life.

“Ubuntu basically means uniting with the community by giving back and also thinking for those who are in need,” says the RAG Committee Executive.

Prowess, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) run by Kovsie students, initiated the concept which targets homeless and needy individuals unable to purchase clothing. Students from all 26 Kovsie residences and personnel have since supported the initiative by donating to the inaugural Street Store through representatives of Rag in residences.

The Street Store will continue to empower impoverished communities within the Mangaung Metro, and champion these human projects in collaboration with external stakeholders.
“We will also be working with Twee-Toring Church, although it has not yet been confirmed when we will pay them a visit,” said Tubatsi.

Providing basic needs such as clothing has the power to reinstate the dignity of people. Rag and Prowess have taken it upon themselves to practice the ideals of Ubuntu in an attempt to ensure that the less fortunate lead dignified lives.

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