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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

Meet our Council Members: Derek Foster, ethical and responsible leadership role model
2016-05-18

Description: 2016 05 18 Derek Foster Tags: 2016 05 18 Derek FosterMr Derek Foster
Photo: Stephen Collett

Derek Foster was elected to the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) in October 2012. He was the first Chartered Accountant (South Africa) to be appointed to Council because of the role he could play through his training, background, and experience. In particular, it was his knowledge of corporate governance, ethics, and reporting that led to his serving currently on the Audit and Risk Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Investment Committee of Council.

This Kovsie alumnus qualified as chartered accountant at the UFS in 1978. During his student years, he played rugby for Oud-Studente, and served in the Evening Student Representative Council.

Until December 2010, Derek was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers, which he joined in 1972 as a rookie when the company was still known as Meyer, Nel and Co. Nowadays, he is a business consultant and company director, serving on the boards of NWK Limited, Cancer Association of South Africa (national), and Samba Cooperative Limited.

His background and knowledge of auditing shine through strongly when it comes to the manner in which he sees his role as Council member. “The contribution which I can make to the Council of the university is to ensure that management executes strategy and policy appropriately, as formulated and approved by Council, in the best interest of the university community. Of course, this should be done in an ethical, sustainable manner, taking into account the risk environment we find ourselves in. We need to provide ethical leadership, and ensure that the UFS is a responsible corporate institution,” he says.

Work obligations are keeping him very busy, but his four grandsons are equally high on his priority list. He met his wife, Sally, at Kovsies, another reason why the university is close to his heart. “Everything I do, I want to do with enthusiasm and passion, and I want to make a difference wherever I go. I would also like to be a good grandfather, and set a memorable example to my grandchildren,” he says.

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