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Community Engagement

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Community engagement is an integral part of most departments within Humanities, with staff involved in 16 community-engagement projects. These projects fall within the three pillars of community engagement at UJ, namely service learning, community-based research and organised outreach. Projects included youth development programmes; pro bono family therapy; social work first-year internship programmes; and involvement with organisations, such as Worldvision.

The Faculty took on the administration of Phumani Papers in 2012. Phumani is 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. Unfortunately the project was cancelled in 2013 due to financial constraints. There are, however, plans to reinstate the project under a different board and new management.

2015 also saw the realisation of a flagship CE project in the faculty.  Izindaba Zokudla aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system in Johannesburg. The project incorporates both community based research as well as service learning aspects, with both the Anthropology and development studies department as well as the Strategic communication department being involved. 

Dr Naudé Malan Senior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Development studies at the Izindaba Zokudla Farmers’ School and Innovation Lab. Izindaba Zokudla aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system in Johannesburg.

In 2015 the Faculty also piloted a project where service learning hours were monitored by an online Platform called “Community hours”.  The project was a great success with lecturers being able to better monitor student activity and social impact.  The Faculty plans to roll out this model to a bigger group in 2016.  This will help the Faculty better understand what the students volunteers are contributing to the UJ community

Ms Rene Benecke Senior Lecturer in Public Relations and Communication with students participating in service learning at the Lead SA Change maker conference. Service learning and Work integrated learning forms a vital part of the Public relations qualification and the Faculty’s Community engagement activities.