The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) in partnership with the Princess Gabo Foundation, Kroonstad Correctional Services and the University of the Free State joined hands to commemorate the centenary of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu as well as celebrate the world’s breastfeeding week and National Women’s month. Held on 3 August 2018, the main focus of the commemoration was part of forging a new alliance with the Royal House of Barolong and the theme of the day was ‘Let’s Kangaroo Africa’.
CUT as an engaged university is dedicated and passionate about integrating with social communities and has over the years built strong and sustainable relationships. As part of the celebration, the CUT community joined in the advocacy walk that took place from Barolong Boo Seleka Royal Kraal in Thaba –Nchu to Dr J.S. Moroka Hospital where they handed over 100 Kangaroo wraps and bennies to newborn babies. The wraps and bennies were hand-made by the female inmates at the Kroonstad Correctional Services.
The Princess Gabo Foundation believes that every child born deserves to be loved, cared for, nurtured and breastfed.
According to Princess Gabo Moroka-Motshabi, the Foundation values and understands the importance and benefits of kangaroo mother care as a preferred method of care especially in disadvantaged and impoverished communities. “We advocate for this cause because children are our future and we need to invest and nurture them from birth to equip them with a jump start that would ensure they grow healthy and become a productive future generation. Let us redress, nurture and invest in our children from birth so that they grow up knowing how to love and care for others. We are very thankful to CUT for their generous donation, and I believe that together with institutions of higher learning, we can make a huge difference in our communities. Let us continue to Kangaroo Africa, change the future generation and address the social ills that we are faced with,” she said.
In his address Prof. Henk de Jager, Vice-chancellor and Principal expressed his appreciation to the Royal House for the wonderful initiative led by Princess Gabo who has been working with the university from the inception of the Kangaroo African initiative. “This year, we commemorate the 100 years of Madiba. His legacy challenges us all to think about our actions, thoughts, practices and contributions we make to the greater good of our communities. In this hour of need, we are proud and honoured to be associated with the Barolong family in this way, as we believe we have something we can also share with the less fortunate.”
He also said that working together with the traditional leaders is a constitutional obligation. “We intend to continue working with traditional leaders to ensure that we contribute to the advancement of the people of Thaba Nchu and our province at large. After all, our constitutional democracy recognises the important functions of houses of traditional leaders in promoting traditional leadership within the context of the new dispensation to enhance unity and understanding among our communities.”
In conclusion, Prof. De Jager thanked the Kroonstad Department of Correctional Services female inmates and staff for making it possible for CUT to donate100 kangaroo wraps and beanies. “We are most grateful to you for being instrumental in realising the wish of CUT to contribute in this way as well as supporting maternal care. Your efforts in making this possible at short notice are remarkable, and this happened through your intervention and support together with your colleagues at the Department of Correctional Services. We appreciate this very much.”
The event was graced by representatives from both National and Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders, Mmarona Kgosikgadi Moroka and representatives from Kgosi Setlogelo, Mr Luvuyo Madasa, Madiba’s great-grandchild from Re-ImagineSA, Mr Fikile Kuhlase from FUTURISTIC and Yamkela Makhupula from PricewaterhouseCoopers.