Welcome to 2023! As we reflect on the past year, we at SHAWCO, the largest student-led non-profit organisation in Africa, are proud to share the many achievements we accomplished in 2022. Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic and financial constraints, we were able to make a real impact in the communities we serve.
One of our main focuses in 2022 was on healthcare, and we are thrilled to report that we held 78 clinics in Imizamo Yethu, New Rest, Masiphumelele, Brown’s Farm, Wynberg, Hout Bay, and Kensington, providing care to over 850 patients. We also launched the Marjorie McIntosh Mom & Baby Clinics, a collaboration between our Women’s Health and Pediatrics teams, to provide even more comprehensive care to the communities we serve.
In addition to our healthcare initiatives, we also held over 20 on-campus events in collaboration with other societies, including skills workshops, talks, and runs. Some highlights include our Health Promo Zumba event, which promoted the importance of physical health, and our Instagram Mental Health Talk with Student Wellness, which raised awareness of mental health services available on campus. We also held two Internship Talks, to help prepare health science students heading into the workplace, as well as several Women’s Health events, including a run to raise donations of sanitary pads and skills workshops to prepare students for working in women’s health clinics.
We also held a Clinical Skills Workshop, to equip pre-clinical students with the skills they will need both in their careers and when serving patients at our SHAWCO clinics. And in collaboration with Medicine in Motion, we held a Paeds Run to raise toy donations for Ikhayalethemba.
One of our most fulfilling projects at SHAWCO Education has been our Mentorship and Mental Health Project. This project aimed to provide mentorship and support to young people in underserved communities, with a focus on addressing mental health and issues of gender based violence. We worked with several schools, namely Bulumko High School and Intlanganiso Secondary (both based in Khayelitsha); Kensington High School and Windemere High School. We ran some of the sessions in collaboration with Imkava Youth, an organisation aimed at serving and supporting youth.
In today’s digital age, access to technology and computer literacy are essential skills for success. That’s why we launched our Digital Literacy Programme, which aims to promote computer literacy and equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the digital world. By narrowing the digital divide in South Africa, we hope to give young people in underserved communities the same opportunities as their peers to succeed.
The Sisterhood United initiative seeks to address social issues prevalent within society by supporting, empowering, and educating young girls. The project is centred around womanhood and envisions young women taking autonomy and having confidence in themselves while instilling power in young women of South Africa who reside in marginalised communities. THis programme ran on a Saturday at our partner schools.
We also ran an Afterschool Online Learning Project (AOLP) sessions ran on Friday afternoons at Intlanganiso, Bulumko and Kensington High Schools. This project aimed to provide online resources and individual tutoring in order to support learners in resource constrained communities. These sessions provide learners not only with the tools they need to succeed but provides them with a safe space to study in our computer labs within the community.
Another project we are proud of is our “Read Today Lead Tomorrow” project, aimed at promoting and encouraging the love of reading amongst high school learners. Through the use of content from the FUNDZA Literacy Trust, we aimed to address reading culture in South Africa and give young people access to the resources they need to succeed.
SHAWCO Law had a very successful year. Through this sub-branch of SHAWCO Education, we ran 28 sessions at Bulumko Secondary School, in Khayelitsha, and The Leadership College, in Manenberg. This programme aimed to provide legal education and support to young people in disadvantaged communities, giving them the knowledge they need to navigate the legal system and advocate for themselves and their communities. We also focus on debating skills and developing a clear argument and delivery. At the end of the year we had a debating contest between the schools, hosted at UCT, with Grade 9 learners, the panel of judges included a senior lecturer from UCT’s Faculty of Law, and an attorney from the corporate world.
SHAWCO strives to make a difference for communities in need and promises to achieve more in 2023. This impact can be greater with your support. If you are interested in donating to SHAWCO and supporting our various projects, please visit our donation page here.
All of these achievements were made possible through the support of our dedicated student leaders and volunteers, alumni, corporate donors, and NPO partners. We are grateful for the trust and support that you have shown us, and we hope that you will continue to support us as we work to make a positive impact in our communities.
Thank you for helping us make a difference as we continue to touch and change lives!