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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

Student gives hope to childhood cancer patients
2015-10-16


Siphokuhle Jama believes that the underprivileged are also destined to reign.

The inaugural ‘Dance and Musical Childhood Cancer Fundraising Day’, held on Saturday 26 September 2015 at the Free State Childhood Cancer (CHOC) Foundation, was “a huge success,” according to Siphokuhle Jama, the organiser.

Siphokuhle is a second-year BSc Agricultural Economics student at the University of the Free State (UFS), who has devoted his life to bettering the lives of the less fortunate. The 21-year-old self-proclaimed motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and budding author was inspired by his humble beginnings to found the Destined to Reign Foundation, which champions various community initiatives in both his home town of Mtata and Bloemfontein.

To support the fight against childhood cancer, the young philanthropist took it upon himself to invite music and dance fanatics either to perform or to enjoy spectatorship for a good cause. The impressive support received from the UFS, Universitas Academic Hospital, and Central University of Technology (CUT), various artists, and the community has contributed towards ensuring that the inaugural fundraiser was a prelude to annual events to come.

Singers, dancers, and poets entertained the audience with vigour, making the day one of the most special for the young children, who spend their days and nights at the CHOC House, with little to do but undergo radiation and chemotherapy and await a discharge date. .

All proceeds went towards basic needs, such as food, toiletries, and clothing for the children residing at the House, which is located in the same suburb as our university. In addition to accommodating dozens of cancer patients and their mothers, the House also assists with the treatment and rehabilitation of children suffering from life-threatening blood disorders. Thus, the fundraiser served to promote awareness of these health conditions.

Siphokuhle’s passion for giving hope to the underprivileged was unveiled by a school community engagement project 14 years ago. He has never looked back.“It has always been in my heart to serve my community,” he said.

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