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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

Lots of inspiration at Autumn Graduation Ceremony
2013-04-18

 

Graduates celebrate the results of years of study at the graduation ceremony on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
17 April 2013

Live streaming of ceremonies available from 16 April - 19 April 2013: http://www.ufs.ac.za/ufslivestreaming/

Joshua Johnson YouTube video

The university’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony got off to a vibrant start with energetic performances and inspiring messages for graduates.

Joshua Johnson, an American student who uses his talent for tap-dancing to fund his tertiary education, mesmerised the audience on the first of the four-day graduation ceremony with his story of hope and perseverance. The student from Penn State University travels five hours by bus to New York every weekend where he tap-dances on the subway trains to earn money for his tuition fees.

Delivering a keynote address, Joshua told graduates that, in order to achieve their goals, they have to understand and work diligently with the 24 hours they get to live daily. “Start with a bang and end with a bang,” he said, encouraging the audience in the nearly-packed Callie Human Centre to join him in a rhythmic tap-dancing beat.

“Don’t follow in the footsteps of someone else. Take the beat of life, but add your rhythm to it," his wise words resonating with the exhilarated graduates.

Joshua will be the guest speaker at the ceremonies on 16, 17 and 19 April 2013 and will deliver a dance item during each occasion.

Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the University, echoed Joshua‘s message, telling graduates not to be discouraged by life’s difficulties.

“Take what you have learned over the last three or four years and use that knowledge to reach your goal,” he advised.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, encouraged them to continue to study. “To break the cycle of poverty, get an education, get a degree.” He told them that as graduates they are ten times more likely to get a job, with the odds rising as they continue their postgraduate studies.

Well-known radio host and Idols South Africa judge, Gareth Cliff, will be the guest speaker at two ceremonies on 18 April 2013. He will be joined by Vicus Visser, the South African YouTube singing sensation. Dubbed Bloemfontein’s Justin Bieber, Vicus and his brother Vincent will perform during these two ceremonies.

The programme for the respective ceremonies is:

Wednesday 17 April

09:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Education.
14:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology.

Thursday 18 April

09:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: only Agricultural Sciences and Architecture.
14:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: only Natural Sciences.

Friday 19 April

09:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: all diplomas and degrees in the Faculty, except BCom and BComHons.
14:30 Diplomas and certificates up to and including honours degrees in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: only BCom and BComHons.

The Qwaqwa Campus’ graduation ceremony will take place on 8 June 2013. Diplomas/certificates up to and including doctorates will be awarded at this ceremony.

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