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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

Tswelopele hosts first LGBTQI panel discussion
2016-10-05

Description: LGBTQI  Tags: LGBTQI

Tshepang Mahlatsi, Zane Thela, Dionne van
Reenen, Dr Thierry Luescher and Galeletsang
Soato, at the Brotherhood with no Limit panel
discussion held at Tswelopele residence on
the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Supplied

Ignorance about issues relating to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community is a threat to mankind. This is according to Tshepang Mahlatsi, former Prime of Tswelopele residence, regarding LGBTQI concerns at University of the Free State (UFS).

House Tswelopele on the Bloemfontein Campus hosted a panel discussion, Brotherhood with no Limit, on 19 September 2016 to discuss issues affecting the LGBTQI community, which has often been on the receiving end of criticism, hate speech and bigotry.

Academics take stance at LGBTQI discussion

The panel, which consisted of staff members and students, opened the discussion to everyone on campus. The panel comprised Zane Thela, Programme Coordinator: Gender and Sexual Equity Office: Student Affairs; Dionne van Reenen, Assistant Researcher; Dr Thierry Luescher, Assistant Director, Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning, and Mahlatsi.

Creating a safer environment for LQBTQI dialogue

“The message that we were putting across was simple. We as a house cannot allow society to define our own brothers for us,” Mahlatsi said. The responsibility of students and student leaders was to stand in solidarity. He said it was not fair that in the 21st century people were still fighting to be recognised for who they were and what they identified themselves as. This issue had been discussed at Tswelopele before and it was not that much of an issue, Mahlatsi said. “However, this was the first formal one [discussion] where we had speakers who are more informed on the topic.”

The panel discussion also aimed to challenge other residences that still do not allow such talks to take place in a safe environment.

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