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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

Ecofeminism a possibe solution to impending famine
2016-05-12

Description: Ecofeminism Tags: Ecofeminism

Dr Inge Konik (right) is pictured with her postdoctoral supervisor, Prof Bert Olivier, Senior Research Professor at the Department of Philosophy.
Photo: Valentino Ndaba

In view of the environmental and social problems faced in South Africa today, researchers such as Dr Inge Konik are hard at work mapping these issues and seeking long-term solutions. Dr Konik,  a lecturer in the Department of Journalism, Media and Philosophy at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) shared her views in a presentation on 6 May 2016. She spoke about revaluing indigenous ways of life and subsistence-focused lifeways, linking this to materialist ecological feminism, or ecofeminism for short.

Dr. Konik’s presentation, hosted by the Department of Philosophy at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), was entitled: “Transversal reflections on ecological feminism and ubuntu.” The research underpinning the presentation derived from Dr Konik’s doctoral thesis which was supervised by Ariel Salleh (University of Sydney) and Andrea Hurst (NMMU).

Dr Konik’s research suggests that ecofeminism - which is a convergence between environmentalism and feminism - may hold the answers to the question of how we may work against environmental and social injustices. She also proposed that society look back toward subsistence communities of the past, and those currently being marginalized in our industrial societies, and linked the values evidenced in the practices of these communities to the African philosophty of ubuntu. In order to solve  complex contemporary challenges Dr Konik suggests that we combine these seemingly disparate theoretical frames - ubuntu and ecofeminism - by applying a transversal approach, which involves openness to dialogue  between traditions.

“My focus was on ecological feminism and critical theory and very specifically on South Africa, given the challeges South Africa faces - the environmental and social challenges and what kind of frameworks would be helpful,” said Dr Konik, who will officially become a postdoctoral research fellow at the department as of July 2016.

Prof Pieter Duvenage, Head of the Departement, stated that compelling research outputs are anticipated from Dr Konik as a fellow.

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