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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Different religions introduced at UFS forum
2010-08-18

 
Mr Ronnie Rosen, leader of the Jewish community in Bloemfontein.

The Inter-Religious Forum (IRF) of the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS) has started a discussion series which offer the opportunity to different religions to introduce themselves. According to Rev. Maniraj Sukdaven from the Department of Religion Studies at the UFS, the purpose of the discourse series is to get to know more about one another’s religion within an atmosphere of respect.

During the last IRF meeting, Mr Ronnie Rosen, leader of the Jewish community in Bloemfontein, gave a talk about the Jewish religion. According to him there is a wide range of Jewish people.

“The one thing, however, that all Jewish people have in common is the Torah or Law-Book. There are 613 instructions that help a Jewish person to organise his life according to the Jewish way of life. For example, a Jewish person who wants to obey the Torah would not consume dairy products and protein together. This life style is not only regarded as a religion, but a way of life, which constantly makes a person aware of his relationship with God,” he explained.

Another interesting fact that transpired during the discussion was that, for the first time in the history of the world, there are more Jews in Israel than in other concentrated areas across the world. Five (5) million Jews are currently living in Israel, while the remaining 10 million Jews are spread across the world.

During the meeting of the IRF forum, persons from amongst others the Baha’i, Hindu and Christian religions participated in the discussion. Other religions that have already been discussed are Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Rastafarians.

The IRF will also be involved in the structuring of course material about the different religions and an inter-religious conference will be part of the IRF’s programme in 2011.

The IRF is the only institution of its kind at South African universities.



 

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