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28 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba
Meal in a Jar
Omar-Raphael Tabengwa quoted Maya Angelou who said: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Lunch and learning were reconciled at Joe Solomon School in Heidedal as part of Africa Day celebrations which were spearheaded by the University of the Free State’s (UFS) International Student Association. As part of the second annual Meal in a Jar project, 190 learners received a hearty meal and stationery packs on 23 May 2019.

In addition to being served rice, mince and vegetables, the Grade four pupils also had the opportunity to learn a bit of basic German and Dutch. “We broadened their minds by introducing them to our foreign exchange students,” said Omar-Raphael Tabengwa, Student Representative Council (SRC): International Students.

Give and gain 

Not only did the exchange expose learners to knowledge about other African countries that exceeds the scope of their curriculum, hence decolonising education from a grassroots level. This also gave international students the opportunity to engage with the community beyond the institution.

More than just a meal

The Meal in a Jar project also promotes environmental sustainability and teaches pupils the value of reusing and recycling. According to Omar: “The jars can later be used for different purposes such as a stationery holder, washing powder container or coin collector, based on an individual’s need.” 

Embracing value of Uhuru

The Meal in a Jar project’s theme for this year was Uhuru, which means “freedom” in Swahili. These are the ideals that the UFS Walk to Uhuru team stands for, an initiative that the project endorses.
 
Much like the Meal in a Jar project, the UFS Walk to Uhuru initiative advocates the educational rights of the less privileged and is currently raising funds to aid access to higher education. As part of the first leg of the walk, the Uhuru team took a 350km expedition on foot to the Qwaqwa Campus in March. They are expected to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in mid-June in an attempt to make R1million for the 2020 academic year.

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