The University of Cape Town has set a strategic goal to expand and enhance its contribution to South Africa's development challenges. The University is committed to engaged, policy-relevant research and teaching, as well as to expanding opportunities for students to become directly involved in socially-responsive learning. In addition, Economics is a discipline which is closely linked to the national policy agenda in a very wide range of areas, and so the School of Economics has chosen this platform to drive their engagement with social responsiveness.
At the DPRU, we share UCT's aim to "ensure that our research contributes to the public good through sharing knowledge for the benefit of society and through fostering the acquisition of the civic literacy, knowledge and skills necessary to build a more just, equitable and unified South African society".
The Unit's social responsiveness engagements take varied forms including:
- research activities
- engagement with policy development
- public commentary on development issues and strategies
- social outreach activities by staff
Social Outreach Activities by Staff:
Mandela Day - Etafeni Day Care Centre
DPRU commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day, by visiting Etafeni Day Care Centre Trust (www.etafeni.org
). Etafeni is a multi-purpose centre that provides a model of holistic sustainable community-based care for AIDS-affected and vulnerable children and their caregivers based in Nyanga, Cape Town. The team gave their time, energy and enthusiasm in the spirit of “Time to Serve”, with the Unit also donating non-perishables and toiletries for food parcels, that are given to the community’s most vulnerable families as well as cleaning materials and paint for the centre. After an introduction to the various programmes at the Centre such as Fit for Life, Fit for Work; Women’s Wellness and Skills Development; and Families Matter, the team split into three working groups for cleaning, painting offices and kitchen duty in preparing vegetables for the pre-school children’s meals.
Stop Hunger Now
This was a wonderful opportunity for us to participate in a Commerce Faculty event in celebration of Africa Day this month. We managed to pack over 8000 meals. For more information on how to contribute towards alleviating hunger in Southern Africa visit http://www.stophungernowsa.org/
CANSA Relay for Life
The DPRU sponsored team T-shirts for the 2016 CANSA Relay For Life, in Athlone, Cape Town, on Friday 18th March. DPRU Administrative Assistant Ms Waseema Petersen participated with “Team Saturn", and co-ordinated their fundraising efforts. An international movement, the annual community-based relay is held overnight, for 12 hours, and includes a Luminaria ceremony and a survivor’s lap of honour.