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30 September 2020 | Story Nitha Ramnath | Photo Supplied
SWSA represented by Mariné du Toit (left) and Lyshea Mapaike(right) at the handover of the funds raised

Sunflower Children’s Hospice, situated on the ground floor of the National District Hospital, is a non-profit organisation that provides care and compassion for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. As far as possible, the hospice aims to keep children within their families and communities, with relevant supervision and support.  However, the hospice is also a permanent residence to many children.

At Sunflower Children’s Hospice, children and their families are provided with:
• palliative care, including pain and symptom management;
• quality of life;
• relief of suffering;
• support for child and family/guardians;
• developmental stimulation;
• support during the bereavement period;
• dignity in death;
• community participation; and
• relevant training.

Due to limited funds, the hospice experiences many financial challenges, which motivated the Social Work Student Association (SWSA) to become involved. Their involvement led to the establishment of the ‘#Adoptaflower’ project by raising funds for the organisation and getting more Social Work students to spend time with the children, as they do not have enough caregivers at the house to give them the special personal attention that they need.  This project was spearheaded by Mariné du Toit, Portfolio Head: Community Upliftment of the SWSA. 

The fundraising initiative collected R1 300 from selling raffle tickets to the university community.  Due to COVID-19 and the lockdown period, it became impossible to proceed with the intention of the Social Work students to spend more time with the children.  

Besides Social Work students not being able to proceed with their intention of interacting more closely with the children concerned, the lockdown unfortunately also affected it negatively in other areas.  The hospice needs assistance with clothes, toiletries, and groceries. Sunflower House therefore needs funds and sponsors to continue providing services to so many children in need of care and support. For more information regarding public involvement, 051 448 3813 is the number to call. 

News Archive

First solar charging station launched at UFS
2017-11-13

 Description: ' 000 1st solar charging station Tags: 1st solar charging station

Students can now charge their phones at the first solar charging station
on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Moeketsi Mogotsi

On Friday 10 November 2017, the first solar charging station (600watts) was launched on the Bloemfontein Campus. This unit will be used by students to charge their phones and Ipads. It is the first of nine units to be installed on all three campuses; five on the Bloemfontein Campus and two each on the South and Qwaqwa Campuses.

Team effort results in great outcome

The project was a collaborative effort between the UFS and FCE Consulting Engineers. Coenie van der Merwe, Prototype Design Engineer, played a vital role in designing the charging unit. Anton Calitz, Electrical Engineer in University Estates’ Department of Facilities Management, says, “We are hoping that by the first quarter of 2018, we would have rolled out the remaining eight charging units.”

Project to enhance sustainability and address student needs

Prof Nicky Morgan, former Vice-Rector: Operations, says, “This should be a symbol of affordable opportunities that will both save the planet and enhance financial sustainability.” Nico van Rensburg, Senior Director of University Estates, says, “This renewable energy project is an innovative way of addressing student needs.”

However, students are advised not to charge other electrical appliances at the charging stations besides their phones and Ipads, as this may cause the charging unit to trip.

The UFS was recently awarded for its contribution towards sustainability. This was in recognition of its amazing initiative to install and operate photovoltaic (PV) and greywater systems on all three of its campuses.

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