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21 May 2019 | Story Igno van Niekerk | Photo Stephen Collett
Digital storytelling
Collaborating for the common good are from left: Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, and Dr Johan van Zyl.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences quoted the Cat Stevens song I can’t keep it in, to capture the excitement surrounding the opening of a Digital Storytelling Lab on the Bloemfontein Campus on 10 May 2019.

After months of hard work by Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, as well as the staff of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Centre for Development Support, the Common Good First lab was completed just in time for the launch attended by about 50 delegates from other South African universities, as well as private and public institutions.

Stories meet technology

In a message, from Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, informed the audience that the launch heralded the joining of the old world of stories with the new world of digital technology. Julie Adair, Director of Digital Collaboration at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, welcomed the UFS as a partner to this international social innovation collaborative project in a video message. 

Dr Van Rooyen, the project manager for the UFS, explained how she got involved in the Common Good First project, what the benefits of digital storytelling are, as well as what opportunities the lab creates for cooperation between role players involved in social innovation projects. 

Why the Common Good First lab?

The purpose of the lab is to create a digital network to identify, showcase and connect social innovation projects in South Africa to one another and to universities around the world for research, student engagement and learning and teaching. The lab has been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment for recording and digitising the stories that result from social innovation projects.

In a live Skype session with Dr Il-Haam Petersen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and some of the recent successes of the digital stories in Philippi in the Western Cape were shared.

Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, UFS Director Community Engagement did the final honours by cutting the ribbon, declaring the lab open, and sharing the dream that the work done in this lab will contribute to positive relationships and cooperation between the university and the community, in making not only the university, but the country and the world a better place.


News Archive

Kovsie Extravaganza
2011-09-14

 

Once again, Kovsies will showcase its most talented students at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in the annual Kovsie Extravaganza on 21st and 22nd September 2011. With guest artists, Vusi ‘The Voice’ Mahlasela and Die Heuwels Fantasties, it promises to be a first-class production. Expect music styles as diverse as hip-hop and pantsula dancers, a student string quartet, jazz band, various vocal groups and the winners of the campus serenade competition.

While it will certainly be a night to remember, this year will also benefit a cause you will find hard to forget. R25 of every ticket sold will go towards the No Student Hungry campaign (NSH), currently feeding just over a hundred Kovsie students on a daily basis. This means that the donation from each ticket bought will effectively buy one student food for one day.

Hunger on the Kovsie campus is an invisible problem that few ever consider, yet it affects an estimated 10% of the 31 000 students at Kovsies. ‘The problem with hunger at a learning institution is that it hampers talent. A hungry person can never achieve their full potential,’ says Grace Jansen, patroness of NSH.

To help alleviate this situation, you can buy a ticket for R75 at the PACOFS ticket office and join us on the 21st or 22nd September at the Sand du Plessis Theatre. Not only will it be a great night out, but you'll be doing your bit to invest in talent. Watch the press over the next two weeks for more information on this initiative.

If you'd like to know more about this topic or to schedule an interview with Cornelia Faasen, please contact her on 051 401 2819 or e-mail faasenc@ufs.ac.za.

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