Community Engagement » School of Education

RURAL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT (23 – 28 June 2013)

We have just returned from a week in the community of aMacambini (100km north of Durban), where we have facilitated a development programme for secondary school learners in the area. This initiative builds on previous joint programming between UKZN and SIT (School of International Training).

16 SIT students from the United States and 4 UKZN students in their final year of their degrees worked collaboratively to facilitate the programme, under the guidance of Dr Toni D’amant, Social Justice Education, School of Education. The four UKZN students who volunteered to participate in this programme were Anele Clive Moli, Sithandwayinkosi Goba, Nlakanipho Mnikathi and Bongeka Snenhlanhla Gumede.These students are highly commended for bringing their amazing energy and invaluable insights and expertise to the programme.

The programme had a social justice focus, and facilitated youth dialogues on issues confronting rural youth. The main objectives of the programme were to deepen intercultural and interpersonal awareness, understanding and respect; and, develop a critical understanding of the complexities of themes such as community, democracy, and empowerment.  The theoretical framework which underpinned the week was one of ‘community engagement’ as opposed to ‘community outreach’ or ‘community service’. This implies a reciprocal and inclusive focus involving sharing, dialogue and collaboration. Verbal and written reflections from learners, SIT and UKZN students show evidence of having reached these objectives.  Sit students, UKZN students and school learners benefited equally from the programme.


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