Community engagement is an integral part of most departments within Humanities, with staff involved in 36 community-engagement projects. These projects included service learning, community-based research and organised outreach. Other projects included youth development programmes; pro bono family therapy; social work first-year internship programmes; and involvement with organisations such as Worldvision.
There are two flagship CE projects in the Faculty:
- The Sophiatown project involves both social research and a grassroots initiative aimed at fostering reconciliation between residents of different races in Sophiatown and, by extension, the country. The project was launched in February 2009, the date chosen to coincide with the commemoration of 54 years since the start of forced removals in Sophiatown. The project is managed by Professor Natasha Erlank (Director of the Centre for Culture and Language in Africa). The Sophiatown Project has the potential to transform the relationship between research and community engagement: the project involves the co-creation of knowledge and research agendas, provides agency and identity for complex communities, and is an experiment in news ways of creating knowledge.
- The Faculty has recently taken on the administration of Phumani Papers, a Johannesburg-based NGO that focuses on the empowerment of women through entrepreneurship in rural areas. Phumani manufactures a variety of paper products, often on the cutting edge of handmade paper technologies, and is the only producer of archival paper in SA.
For more on Phumani Paper, click here
Please contact Leonardo Snyman should you require more info.