Aabhas and Julia, the current interns at Shawco have interviewed Amahle Gantsho, the current president of Shawco Education who is currently pursuing her education in Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Amahle, currently (age), first got associated with SHAWCO at the age of 16 when she was still in high school. It was through the ShawcoShine Program that she applied to be part of, and got the opportunity to take classes relating to topics in Physics and Math at UCT.
It was through her proactiveness to involve and initiative to grab opportunities that she became involved with this program conducted by Shawco.
She shares, how due to social influence through peers and family, she had not thought about pursuing anything other than medicine, but as she grappled her way through opportunities like these she realized and drifted away from the idea of becoming a doctor, and discovered her passion to deliver social justice and work for society, through pursuing Law and Sociology. With her determined efforts she worked to get admission into UCT as a Law student.
At UCT, she reunited with what had first ignited her spark to study at this magnificent institution with state-of-the-art facilities and faculty, as a student at UCT she got engaged with SHAWCO again, but now from the other end as a volunteer at Shawco Education.
Through her deep and active involvement with Shawco, she was then elected to become the President of Shawco Education.
She now not only spearheads the work that happens with programs under Shawco Education but also collaborates and coordinates with the programs and interventions under SHAWCO Health and Shawco at large.
We also reflected on how her work with education, deeply connects and runs to the interventions in public health, and how both education and health form fundamental and interdependent parameters in uplifting communities. From education about contraceptives and sexual health to dealing with grappling the number of teenage pregnancies, Shawco Health and Shawco Education (and Shawco Law) work in close collaboration to empower the youth with their rights and resources which they can leverage to tackle such problems in their communities. These intersectional efforts in her personal journey are also a reflection of the work that happens under SHAWCO as a non-profit organization.
She discusses how she wants “to be the voice of the voiceless” and wants to work in the sphere of child rights advocacy and leverage her expertise through her education in law and volunteering with SHAWCO and contribute her bit to the community and people.
This is behind what makes Shawco leave a mark in the heart of the beneficiaries in these communities and owing to this strong bond with the community, is what enables SHAWCO to continue its legacy of work with social justice till date since 80 years from its inception, with the support of enthusiastic and energetic volunteers from UCT who are ever ready to serve.