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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

German Ambassador speaks on universities as agents for transformation
2016-05-25

Description: German Ambassador speaks on universities  Tags: German Ambassador speaks on universities

Eva Ziegert, JC van der Merwe, Lindokuhle Ntuli, Anita Ohl-Meyer, Ambassador Walter Lindner, Tali Nates, and Prof Leon Wessels at the dialogue session hosted by the IRSJ
Photo: Johan Roux

“Change is facilitated through education, not by means of radicalism, violence, or revolution.” Speaking at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) on Thursday 12 May 2016, the German Ambassador, Walter Lindner, urged students to engage in profitable dialogue instead, keeping their values and ideals in mind while changing the system from the inside.

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) hosted a full day of dialogues and discussions, the highlight of which was a critical dialogue with Ambassador Lindner, entitled “Universities as agents of transformation in society—Germany’s experience with the student protests of the 1968 movement and the difficulties it has reconciling with its past.” This was followed by a student colloquium, hosted by the Student Representative Council, which concluded with the second in the Africa’s Many Liberations seminar series, co-hosted by the IRSJ and the International Studies Group (ISG), with the title of “Fanon and the relevance of personal and collective decolonisation in today’s South Africa”.

Mr Lindner related his experience of student protests in Germany during the late 1960s, drawing certain parallels with South Africa’s own recent protests. According to Ambassador Lindner, it is “the impatient youth that drives forward change”, but cautioned against radicalism as a long-term solution.

Pointing out the various challenges facing humankind today, such as the lack of natural resources, unbridled climate change, and population growth, Mr Lindner stated that politicians (and the youth of today) would do well to focus on these greater issues, rather than focusing on the more mundane issues with which they are faced on a day-to-day basis.

The subsequent dialogue session was facilitated by Tali Nates, Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. A diverse array of questions and comments, both radical and more conservative, was directed at the ambassador, which he handled with unflappable aplomb.

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