Medical students reach out to kids in need

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The group of medical students involved in the community project are from the left, front: Linette de Klerk, Emma Honiball, Tankiso Mothobi and Anke Badenhorst; middle: Ayanda Ngcobo (standing), Drikus Klopper, Ronja-Mari Steinbach, Shaari Rai Poken and Elsje Potgieter; back: James Heckroodt, Edwin de Villiers, Francois Gericke, Jamie Visagie and Dylan Barnes.

A group of medical students from the University of the Free State (UFS) has recently joined hands with the Department of Physiotherapy at the institute to give back to children in the Bloemfontein community who are less fortunate.

This comes as part of the training of third-year medical students in the subject Health and Diseases in Populations.

The community project was supported by the Reach Our Community Foundation (ROC) which strives to provide people in the community with tools to live better lives
According to medical student Dylan Barnes, they were asked to do a needs assessment of the organisation apart from the academic information and they were required to plan and complete a project to fulfil the need(s) of a specific organisation.

The medical students have also teamed up with the Mangaung Fire Department and will soon be joined by the Heidedal Police Station.

“We as a group, having been assigned to ROC, have since the start of the project collected stationery for the learners cared for by ROC and we also made arrangements for the Department of Physiotherapy to collect and donate stationery for another year,” Barnes said.

He added that they are currently starting a drug awareness campaign in coordination with the Heidedal Police Station and at the same time they are working close with the UFS for sponsor opportunities such as the donation of old computers.
“We as students have had to take a whole new approach than previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and one such approach that is still under discussion with ROC, is the use of crowd funding to buy some of the necessities that we as students cannot afford or attain currently,” Barnes concluded.

Pierce van Heerden
pierce@mahareng.co.za