The Division for Academic Planning, Quality Promotion and Academic Staff Development partner with a number of other divisions in their community engagement initiatives. These include the Division for Institutional Planning, Evaluation and Monitoring, as well as the Transformation Office. In addition to participating in UJ Staff Days and Mandela Day (organised by the UJ Community Engagement Office) we are involved with the Don Boscoe community.
The Don Boscoe Educational Centre in Ennerdale is run by Catholic nuns and has approximately 235 pupils of which a large percentage come from child-headed households. Poverty levels in the area are very high and many of the pupils attending the school have been HIV positive since birth.
Staff in the offices have been collecting money for these children since early in 2014. The money raised is used to buy stationery, toiletries, sweets and other basic needs items for the children. Representatives from these offices visit the community once or twice a year to deliver the supplies.
At the end of 2016 we rasied money and made up Christmas for all of the children containing ‘tolletjies’ for each child, wool and hooks, as well as some sweet treats. We spent the day teaching the children how to “tolletjie brei” (also know as French knitting). Lunch was also supplied for all the children. Please see the video below for highlights of the day: