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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

Degree in Forensic Science for 2014
2013-08-16

16 August 2013

A BSc degree in Forensic Science will be presented for the first time at the University of the Free State (UFS) from 2014. It is also the first degree of its kind to be presented in South Africa.

According to the Department of Genetics in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences the three-year degree is, among others, aimed at people working on crime scenes and on criminal cases in the SA Police Service and in forensic laboratories. At postgraduate level, students can specialise in a variety of forensic fields up to PhD.

A maximum of 80 students will be selected for admission to the course in 2014. Entrance requirements are an admission point of at least 34, as well as a combined minimum point of 17 for Mathematics, Life Sciences and Physical Science. Applications for 2014 close on 30 September 2013. About 700 to 800 new appointments were advertised in this field by the SAPS in the past two years.

The UFS has been offering an honours programme in Forensic Genetics since 2010.

The new course comes at a time when the Government is taking significant steps to eradicate crime in South Africa. At the first conference of the SA Police Service’s National Forensic Service in July 2013, it was reported that milliards of rand are spent to establish an integrated, modernised, well-manned and well-managed criminal justice system. New laboratories are already operational and more laboratories are planned, including one in each province.

The so-called DNA Bill is likely to be approved by Parliament before the end of 2013. Under this bill, all current schedule-1 criminals and suspected criminals will be obliged to provide DNA samples. This information will be stored in a DNA database.

According to the SAPS’ Serial Unit, approximately 1 300 serial killers are currently active in South Africa and the DNA database can be helpful to bring these and other criminals to book. About 80% of all crimes are committed by about 20% of the criminals.

More information on the Forensic Science degree can be found at forensics@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 9680 or +27(0)51 401 2776.

 

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication

Telephone: +27 (0) 51 401 2584
Cellphone: +27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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