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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

SA and Indonesia strengthen educational ties
2016-05-19

Description: Embassy of Indonesia  Tags: Embassy of Indonesia

From the left were Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor at the Department of Political Studies and Governance; Professor Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, Research Professor of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences; Suprapto Martosetomo, ambassador of the Embassy of Indonesia to South Africa; and Prof Theodor Neethling, Head of the Department of Political Studies and Governance.
Photo: Johan Roux

“Indonesia and South Africa share one common trait which is diversity,” were the opening remarks of Suprapto Martosetomo, ambassador of the Embassy of Indonesia to South Africa. The ambassador drew parallels between the two republics at a public lecture hosted by the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State Bloemfontein Campus on 10 May 2016.

Professor Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, Research Professor in the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, presented the lecture on “Managing Political Diversities: The Indonesian Experience.” He outlined the history of Indonesia’s political and economic development, political system, and government’s policy in dealing with political and economic challenges, as well as the lessons learned from its experience.

Diversity and governance
As is South Africa, Indonesia is a ‘rainbow nation’. Being the largest country in the Southeast Asia, it boasts a population of approximately 250 million people, 300 ethnic groups, and 650 local languages. However, despite such diversity, the nation has been united behind the motto of “unity in diversity”, which was adopted when Indonesia proclaimed its independence in 1945.

Indonesia and SA also bear similarities in terms of a multiparty parliamentary system. Their current Joko Widodo and our Jacob Zuma administrations are governed by policies including anti-corruption, economic prosperity, equity and equality, quality education and healthcare, and maintenance of security.

International relations
The two countries have a long-standing relationship since 1955 when the Asia-Africa conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia. The conference represented solidarity against colonisation.

Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor at the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance, attributes Indonesia’s success as a product of education and leadership - something South Africa could learn from..“Indonesia like SA has been struggling with how to balance social diversity, democracy, and a political system. Despite this, they have managed to develop a functioning democracy and a vibrant economy. They are one of the top 20 economies in the world, and by the year 2035 will be in the top seven economies in the world, according to the Goldman Sachs, report,” he said.

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