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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

HIV/AIDS could kill 20% of southern Africa’s farm workers by 2020
2008-09-27

HIV / AIDS is claimed to account for 40% - 50% of infections in the workforce in some labor-intensive industries. This means that every farmer will have to replace up to 50% of his workforce within the next 10 years.

This was said by Mrs Estelle Heideman (pictured) of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science at the University of the Free State (UFS) at the launch of a DVD about a project to equip farm workers with knowledge and skills regarding HIV / AIDS.

Mrs Heideman was quoting the research findings of Agrimark Consultant, Johan Willemse, and added that farm workers, because of low literacy levels, remoteness of the areas in which they live and the distances to health care facilities, are often forgotten when it comes to HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes.

This weekend Mrs Heideman leaves for New York City to take up a scholarship awarded to her by the University of Columbia and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to participate in the M-A-C AIDS Sponsored Leadership Programme.

The leadership Initiative provides a structured support program to enable participants to exchange best practices in the approach to HIV prevention that can be adapted to local circumstances. At the conclusion of the program the Leadership Initiative will, amongst other benefits, provide funds for Fellows to carry out their prevention program in South Africa.

Such a program was already carried out from February to May this year as part of the Lengau Agri Centre’s Farm Project in collaboration with the Chief Directorate Community Service at the UFS on the farms Slangfontein, Dwarsrivier and Pypersfontein in the Philippolis district.

According to Mrs Heideman, who is the co-coordinator of the project, the aim of this project was to equip farm workers with knowledge and skills regarding HIV/AIDS so that they can take control of their lives and make quality decisions.

“A major advantage of working with farm workers is that the whole family is included in the session and this ensures that all generations get the same message”, she said.

At the end the feedback from the farm workers about the programme was positive. “Many said they had tested for HIV and will continue to do so to ensure that they would be around to see their children grow up”, said Mrs Heideman.

Copies of the DVD can be obtained from Estelle Heideman (0828211230) or Tarryn Nell (0832573843).

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
26 September 2008


 

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