The University of Venda (UNIVEN)’s Department of Nutrition in the Faculty of Health Sciences signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kago Ya Bana Foundation (KYF), a non-profit organisation based in Mpumalanga Province, Nelspruit. The signing ceremony took place on the Wednesday, 03 November 2021, at the University Council Chambers.
The agreement entered between UNIVEN and KYF is to collaborate in the field of community engagement, including work integrated learning; with respect to clinical training of students mainly the BSc Nutrition professional qualification. UNIVEN shall place students in the third- and Fourth-year level to implement the intervention of nutritional aspects in all areas to promote nutritional health in the public and expose them to the workplace setting.
KYF is a community development non-profit organisation based in Mpumalanga Province, Nelspruit. The organisation was founded in 2013. Their focus area is Household Food, Nutrition security of the impoverished communities which is key to achieving Public Health Nutrition. The organisation work in collaboration with other NPOs and other stakeholders that target education, health, nutrition, and development.
In his welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Prof Jan Crafford said this MoU will ensure that our students get workplace exposure and at the same time, contributing to the communities and this resonates well with the University’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, particularly Strategic Thrust 1: Student centeredness and engaged scholarship.
Dr Lindelani Mushaphi HoD, Nutrition representing Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Tshilidzi Mulaudzi said that this Department strives to train students and promote good nutrition. “We work with different stakeholders to promote nutrition. Each year, we place our final year students at NPOs such as Kago Ya Bana Foundation where they work with communities and at the same time gaining work experience and exposure as recommended by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).”
Ms Vanessa Mbhatsani, Lecturer in the UNIVEN Nutrition Department expressed that this partnership would assist the Department of Nutrition to produce graduates that are skilled and thus add value to the qualification that the Nutrition Department is offering.
Kago Ya Bana Foundation Managing Director, Ms Khumo Moele said they are happy to sign this MoU and to be associated with institutions of higher learning such as UNIVEN because she always knew that UNIVEN strives to make impact in various communities. “This partnership will benefit both the University and Kago Ya bana Foundation, at the same time giving work experience to UNIVEN students.”
Partnership Officer at UNIVEN’s Department of International Relations, Mr Thabo Dikgale said there has always been this junction between work, learning and community engagement. Mr Dikgale mentioned that this MoU is the essence which speaks to the University’s daily business. “We need to facilitate action to ensure that this MoU is nurtured and bear fruitful results.”
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Date: 09 November 2021