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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

Cultivating excellence and success through academics
2011-10-07

 

Unlocking potential. At the Golden Key South African Summit 2011 were, from the left: Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar (UFS); Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic; Mr Ryk Neethling and Ms Charlene Gunter, Director: Golden Key International Honour Society, South Africa.
Photo: Phelekwa Mpono

More than 130 delegates are gathering for the Golden Key, South African Summit at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). Golden Key International Honour Society recognises academic excellence and uses knowledge to transform lives. It has 400 chapters in eight countries. Of South Africa’s 12 chapters, 11 were present at the summit.

Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic at the UFS, welcomed delegates from the respective chapters. She commended them for their perseverance and dedication to excel. “Your academic aspirations and commitment contribute to cultivating a culture of excellence. It will provide a better future for every South African citizen,” she said. Prof. Hay challenged delegates also to “act” by turning their knowledge into actions to advance not only themselves but also society. She also urged them to “discover” everything about themselves, their chosen disciplines, allies and oppositions. “Mostly, you must internalise the spirit of lifelong learning,” she said.

Mr Ryk Neethling, Olympic gold medallist and businessman, was the first keynote speaker. He took everyone through the steps that ultimately led to the moment of victory for him and his team. “We found a way to compete with heart and determination in the 2004 Olympic Games. We were prepared and we took everyone by surprise. “To achieve what one has set one’s mind to, we must dream big,” he said. “Play your part in the team and be confident. Remember that you are victors and not victims,” he urged. He further emphasised the importance of making one’s own luck and, most of all, never to give up.

Another speaker for the summit includes Ms Peggy-Sue Khumalo, former Miss South Africa. Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar (UFS) will present a workshop on Strategic Action Planning.

This event is the first external lecture that is presented in the Metro’s found in the new Health Sciences Building on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS.
 

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