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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

Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries
2016-05-04

Description: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries  Tags: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries

The National Arts Council (NAC) has awarded R100 000 to 10 Drama students at the University of the Free State (UFS). Eight years after its establishment in 2005, the NAC has partnered our university in funding academically-deserving students needing assistance with tuition. To date, our undergraduate students have benefitted from more than R800 000.

Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, who applies to the NAC at the end of each year on behalf of students, welcomes the funds: “Quite a lot of our students would not have been able to complete their studies without assistance from the bursary scheme.”

As a result of this financial injection, South African schools also gain. “Some students then enrol for a higher education diploma, and they then teach Arts and Culture at schools. Hence, there is a whole new generation of Arts and Culture teachers who are now entering the school system,” said Prof Luwes.

Mbuyiselo Nqodi, a second-year BA Drama and Theatre Arts student, would not have been able to enrol at the university in 2015, had it not been for the NAC.  “Without the bursary, I would not have been admitted into the university. It helped a lot because R10 000 can go a long way.”

Pursuing its mandate to support and develop South Africa’s arts, culture and heritage sector, the NAC awarded 117 bursaries to arts students and tertiary institutions for the year.  A total of R5 million has been allocated for 2016, a 10% increase on the previous financial year.

According to the NAC Chief Executive Officer, Rosemary Mangope, one of the aims of the NAC is to provide support to students who will contribute to the arts and culture industry in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

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