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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

Community builders honoured at Community Engagement Awards
2016-10-13

Description: "06 -10-2016 Comm Engagement Awards Read More Tags: Comm Engagement Awards

Photo: Charl Devenish

The office of Community Engagement held its annual Community Engagement Awards at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 5 October 2016. This year, the ceremony celebrated people who gave themselves selflessly to improve the lives of those around them who are less privileged. Key players in various sectors of society were recognised and honoured for their contribution and commitment towards a common good.

Dr Richard Teare, president of the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL), was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. GULL, a non-profit foundation, operates across the world, providing access to lifelong learning for communities, giving each individual an opportunity to make a difference in their world. Dr Teare talked of places that lack the provision and infrastructure to access higher education and said that through community service programmes, social and economic development was enhanced, and the necessary expertise and resources were provided to drive a community towards a greater good. “Community engagement espouses academic excellence—it enables people to discover their full potential.”

Through its partnership with GULL, the University of Free State has worked with women from Bloem Shelter, an organisation that provides assistance to underprivileged women and children from diverse walks of life. The women were equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge they needed to become self-sufficient - an experience that has yielded positive, constructive change in the women’s lives. 

The awards also acknowledged the boldness and innovative support of members of the Free State community in their various sectors. Among those awarded was Dr Choice Makhetha for her contribution in building capacity for those involved in community service programmes. She also designed and created approaches to improve situations in schools, churches, community organisations and small businesses. Also presented with an award was Dr Dipane Hlalele of the Qwaqwa Campus for his role as principal investigator in two National Research Foundation (NRF) -funded projects; Rural Relational Leadership and Sustainable Rural and Urban Connection. The ICT Innovation in School Education division of the South Campus was also recognised for its Internet Broadcast Project (IBP), which provides lessons on different subjects to 72 000 learners and 3 000 teachers each week.

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