Celebrating UJ Community Engagement Service Excellence Awards
The University of Johannesburg Community Engagement Unit, within University Relations under the leadership of Senior Executive Director: University Relations, Student Affairs and UJ Sport, Dr. Vukuza hosted the 2022 Community Engagement Service Excellence Awards (CESEA) at Auckland Park Bunting Road Campus, School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH).
The annual awards ceremony took place on the 18th of November 2022 and recognises the excellent community engagement projects by UJ’s faculties and divisions. The awards used to be known as Community Engagement Recognition Awards (CERA), and were renamed in 2020.
The 2022 awards ceremony boosted attendance by multi-stakeholders from within the University and external guests from various organizations including Time for Change, Dare to Read, Class Room Buddie, Social Impact Africa, Inner City Mission, Phakamani Youth Minds, Dare to Read, Mould Empower Serve, GBCDA, City of Johannesburg, among others.
The event was graced by decorated guest speakers who helped to uphold the aim of the day by keeping the flow of their talks in line with celebrating the strong characteristics and qualities that exemplified the commitment and consistency of the honourees.
Ms Sibongile Mongadi, the founder of Uku’Khamba Prosthetics and Orthotics, an organization that provides prosthetics to amputees, was one of the guest speakers. Ms Mongadi spoke about how she found a way to assist those on the waiting lists to get prosthetics and orthotics, by providing a service that restores their dignity, at half the time they would have to wait for state assistance.
Mr Linford Molaodi, a lecturer in ICT enhanced learning, Childhood Education, referred to the positivity brought about by engaging in Community Engagement initiatives and projects. Mr Molaodi emphasised that community engagement projects serve the needs of communities, uplift communities, rejuvenate humanity, enhance long-lasting relationships, and ultimately improve the lives of people in communities.
The theme for this year’s awards ceremony was “Conversions and knowledge of sustainable Community Development in Universities “. The winners were selected based on the nature of their community engagement projects; their sustainability, and in having a great social impact. When selecting the winners for 2022, the selection committee looked at various factors around sustainability and impact. The following selection criteria were used to select the top three winners:
- Project Sustainability (how a project is able to sustain itself beyond the current leadership and projections for financial sustainability).
- Community Involvement and Partnerships (projects that involved community members in their conceptualization and implementation processes were more desirable).
- Local and global impact (how the project improves the lives of the people it serves).
- Social Relevance (looking at how relevant is the project in the community it serves).
- Beneficiaries (projects that are serving the most vulnerable members and underrepresented members of society were considered).
Different faculties and divisions made submissions and presented their 2022 flagship projects during the Community Engagement Advisory Board (CEAB) meeting that took place on the 15th of November 2022. It was during the CEAB meeting that the awards selection committee (consisting of community engagement staff, Strategic communications, and external stakeholders) finalized the selection process for the 2022 winners. The 2022 CESEA winners were awarded as follows:
- Faculty: Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty Community Engagement Coordinator: Ms Bidassey-Manilal
- Name of Project: WeCare Wellness Community Health Centre
- Project Type: Organised Outreach
- Project leader: Dr. Marelize Caminsky
- Faculty: Faculty of Science
- Faculty Community Engagement coordinator: Dr. Tebogo Makhubele
- Name of Project: Barberton Archean Surface Environment (BASE) Moodies Project Type: Organised Outreach
- Project leader: Prof Nic Beukes
- Division: UJ Sport
- Division: Community Engagement Coordinator: Ms Nomsa Mahlangu
- Name of Project: Greater Protea Netball League
- Project Type: Organised Outreach
- Project leader: Njabulo Nompilo Zondi
The awards ceremony also recognized students who participated in and implemented excellent community engagement projects. Although a separate ceremony was held for the students’ awards, the winners were also acknowledged during the CESEA awards ceremony. Students who won Community Engagement awards in 2022 were recognized as follows:
Showcase Winners (awards for best community engagement project(s) by students
- Edward Mashaba – of Reatlegile Foundation Non- Profit Organisation – Make Everyday Mandela day Project.
- Muthakhi Mukhuba and Samantha van Staden – of UJ Civils Student Structure – Zandspruit Safe Water Awareness Campaign.
- Zethembiso Mathenjwa of Ulwazi residence – Category Residences – Candlelight vigil against Gender-Based Violence.
The Community Engagement Top 3 student volunteer champions (based on hours spent doing community engagement) across all campuses:
- Campus: Doornfontein: Mr. Zamokuhle Maseko, 726 hours in CE organized-outreach projects.
- Campus: Doornfontein: Mr. Edward Mashabe, 667 hours in CE Organised-outreach projects.
- Campus: Doornfontein: Ms Lebogang Kgopa, 435 hours in CE Organised-outreach projects.
The Community Engagement unit would like to thank all those who participated in the awards ceremony. We congratulate the 2022 winners and encourage more entrants for 2023.
Inkomu, Re a Leboga, Baie dankie, thank you!