University of the Free State: Enactus students planting seeds of hope in the Qwaqwa community

Empowered by the Enactus platform, a group of students on the Qwaqwa Campus are planting seeds of lifelong goodness in the Qwaqwa community.

Enactus is an international non-profit organisation that equips students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action by providing a platform for teams of outstanding students to create community development projects that put communities at the centre of improving their own livelihoods.

The group of seven students, namely Salima van Schalkwyk, Lehlohonolo Mokoena, Tubatse Moloi, Jennifer Links, Boikanyo Madisha, Bonagani Makwakwa, and Vuyo Mbamba, who are all pursuing undergraduate degrees in various disciplines, form part of Enactus.

Van Schalkwyk, the team leader and second-year Bachelor of Community Development student, said being part of Enactus has enabled them to make a tangible difference in the community around them.

“[As a team], we always assumed we knew what people go through on a daily basis, but we were in for a surprise. Despite the beautiful mountainous views of Qwaqwa, the people are in pain, one that is a cycle. When we look at all that we have discovered, all that we have heard and seen, we are moved to give the people of Qwaqwa a hand in being lifted to the surface.”

Leaving footprints of greatness for future generations

The team is currently competing in various competitions that seek to bring about social change. In 2021, the team was selected by MTN ICT as part of the top 12 nominees countrywide, receiving funding to develop an app that will assist students with mental health challenges. Apart from developing the app, they are also working on 7 Seeds, an agricultural enterprise that seeks to address the agricultural difficulties of a farm they identified in Qwaqwa.

Van Schalkwyk said they will be participating in the Enactus National Competition on 14 July 2022 and are gunning for the Enactus World Cup that will take place in Puerto Rico in October this year.

“Our vision as Enactus students is to create a better, more sustainable world for future generations. In the current economic situation our country is in, we believe that social entrepreneurship is the key to economic development and empowerment. Through Enactus, we hope to inspire many more students to submerge themselves in entrepreneurial activities. We live to leave footprints that lead to greatness for future generations,” she said.