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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

The most international students for a UFS master's programme
2007-02-07

The Master's Degree in Development Studies, presented by the Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State (UFS), this year once again boasts with the most international students registered for a master's programme at the UFS. The programme is designed for people working in a development-related context, or who intend to do so. This year almost 160 applications were received, from which only 64 were accepted. Of these 18 students are from Zimbabwe. There are also students from Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Namibia. The programme's first contact session took place recently. 


Attending the session were from the left, front: Ms Rosemary Kiragu (a student from Kenya), Prof Lucius Botes (Programme Director: Centre for Development Support at the UFS), Ms Jane McPherson (a student from Bloemfontein); back: Mr Godfrey Matimba (a student from Zimbabwe) and Mrs Dorie Olivier (Programme Co-ordinator at the UFS Centre for Development Support).

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