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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

It takes a village to raise a child
2016-06-13

Description: Valentino_Student Bursary Fund Campaign Tags: Valentino_Student Bursary Fund Campaign

Valentino Ndaba
Photo: Sonia Small

(Click on CC for subtitles)

Video
Student Bursary Fund Campaign booklet (pdf)
Donate
Student Bursary Fund Campaign launched: #FundAFuture and make a difference
Motho ke motho ka batho. A person is a person through others

Want to make a difference in the world? Here is how

South Africa has one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. Take the ribbon of golden beaches sweeping along the shores of KwaZulu-Natal, for instance. But just beyond the kiteboards dappling the ocean and fields of swaying sugarcane lies one of the largest informal settlements in the province: Amaoti. A place where barefoot children are skipping alongside poverty, and violent crime incinerates hope.

Nonetheless, that place could not keep Valentino Ndaba from graduating at the University of the Free State (UFS), and setting her sails for post-graduate studies.

A village
It takes a village to raise a child. This African proverb ripples across Valentino’s life story. “My gran always used to say education is your eternal bread. She still says it to this day. She has always instilled in me the importance of education,” Valentino smiles. Her grandmother has been but one of several champions in Valentino’s life.

Maalthee Dayaram – a teacher at Brookdale Secondary School that Valentino attended – noticed a budding talent in the young girl’s writing. With dedicated attention and ceaseless encouragement, Mrs Dayaram helped pave the way for this young writer. “You might be talented and have potential, but having someone actually believe in you and tell you that you have potential makes such a difference,” Valentino says. “I fell in love with writing, and had an idea that writing might be my future.” Dire economic circumstances threatened to snuff out any sparks of hope from that fragile future, though.

Aided by Lungisani Indlela (a non-profit organisation that provides children in the Amaoti area with school fees, uniforms, shoes, etc), Valentino clung to faith in the power of education. With unwavering single-mindedness, she consistently earned top grades.

Description: Valentino Ndaba 2 Tags: Valentino Ndaba 2

Photo: Sonia Small

Not if, but when
“Dreaming of my future, my gran would always say to me, ‘when you go to university’ or ‘when you have graduated’, this and that will follow.” Her gran’s words proved to be prophetic. As the final matric results were published in early January 2012, Valentino received a phone call that would change her life irrevocably.

That call came from the well-known South African humanitarian, Tich Smith. “Would you be willing to go to university in another province?” Smith asked. Never having travelled beyond her immediate surroundings, Valentino’s brave answer was: “Yes.”

A few days later, she walked onto the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS.

Changing futures

Valentino proceeded to obtain a BA degree in Media Studies and Journalism in 2014. She has now set her sights on an honours degree, and envisions pursuing a Master’s degree in creative writing overseas.

“Without the support I received, I would have been stuck without a future,” she says. “University has shaped me into a better version of myself. I’ve grown intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.”

You can bring about the same change for other students in need. By contributing to the UFS Student Bursary Fund Campaign, you can change the future not only of individuals, but of communities and of our country as well.

The impact of your financial support reaches far beyond its monetary value. It pulls families from poverty. It sends forth experts and visionaries into the world. It sets in motion a culture of giving.

Visit our Giving page for ways to contribute.

 

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