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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

Miss South Africa is a Kovsie
2014-03-31


Rolene Strauss
Images:
www.facebook.com/#!/MsSouthAfrica

“Rolene Strauss is an example of physical beauty, academic excellence and public duty coming together in one person,” said Prof Jansen.

Twenty-one-year-old Rolene Strauss, a third-year medical student at the University of the Free State (UFS), was crowned as Miss South Africa at a gala event at Sun City the weekend. Rolene was also the favourite on Twitter.

In her acceptance speech, Rolene said that she dearly loves South Africa. “This is where I can live, speak, learn and love freely. This is where my dreams come true. I am very proud of our country and shall always have a purpose here. It is such a privilege to represent our wonderful country. Our future is bright and I can’t wait to represent South Africa nationally and internationally,” Rolene said.

“My passion for health will definitely form a big part of my year, together with the initiatives of the sponsors,” she said.

Rolene said that Prof Jonathan Jansen, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, is an inspiration to her. “He stands up for what he believes in and enjoys what he is doing. He wants the best for his students and supports them in everything they do,” she said.

“Thanks to the support of the UFS and Prof Jansen, I am able to stop my studies for a year and continue after my Miss South Africa year. I am who I am today because of the people around me – and that definitely includes Kovsies. I see the university as a garden in which I can flower,” she said.

The university community is very proud of Rolene, and it is confirmed by Prof Jansen. “I am extremely proud of Rolene Strauss, for she has proved that physical beauty, academic excellence and public duty can come together in one person, and offer a powerful platform for transforming communities in need that would otherwise remain invisible, were it not for such a wonderful young role model,” he said.

On the year which lies ahead, Rolene said: “It will be a year during which I shall give back, say thank you and be a good example of the potential that especially women and South Africans may have in our country.”

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