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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

Offender learners get unique opportunity
2016-08-02

Description: Mandela Day Project  Tags: Mandela Day Project

Subashini Moodley, Regional Commissioner Northern Cape
and Free State.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

Nelson Mandela spoke of education as the tool of liberation. Kamogelo Dithebe, Chairperson of the Postgraduate Student Council (PGSC), opened the PGSC’s Mandela Day Project with these striking words.

The PGSC at the University of the Free State (UFS) hosted the Tswelopele Correctional Service Centre Career Day for their annual Mandela Day project on the Bloemfontein Campus on 27 July 2016. Grade 11 and 12 learner offenders from the Kimberley-based centre were given a tour of the campus.

Visitors empowered with knowledge

Subashini Moodley, Free State and Northern Cape Regional Commissioner, said: “It is really a privilege to be here today. It is not every day you see a Correctional Centre roaming around campus.” She thanked the postgraduate council for making the opportunity possible, as it was the first open day for the offender-learners in collaboration with the PGSC.

She told the offender-learners that they were privileged to be given the opportunity as many learners in a normal school environment often come to university not knowing what to expect or what to study. She said they should empower themselves with knowledge as they met with the different faculties.

Tour encourages and change lives

Mthulisi Zandile, a Grade 12 offender learner, was very excited to learn about the career options available after completing a university degree. “It means a lot to us as it will further our education, and bring change in our life, as this will show me the right route to pass matric with flying colours,” said Mthulisi.

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