I am 22 years old and currently completing my Business Science Marketing Honours at the University of Cape Town. I have lived in South Africa all my life and have become extremely passionate about my country and its people. This year I am the Chairperson of a student run, education based, non-profit organisation called Ubunye. Ubunye runs three projects which operate in high schools in Cape Town’s township areas, and focuses on debating, mentoring and academic tutoring. Other than the volunteer work I do, I enjoy photography and spending time with my friends.
Below I have shared some answers to my application for the Student Communications Team:
Why do you want to be part of this opportunity?
Over the time I have spent at UCT, and the organisations I have been involved in, I have gained a passion for social justice issues. I believe that there are certain problems faced by South Africa which are not confined to our borders, but are issues which are grappled with internationally. My belief is that civic engagement is crucial in overcoming these issues and I would really like to be a part of the global conversation that will be happening at the leadership conference. I enjoy brainstorming ideas and have an appreciation for different opinions, and feel the conference will be an amazing opportunity to share, learn, and grow through the experience of others.
In addition to this, I am nearing the end of my academic career and am looking to network with individuals who share a similar social consciousness and aim to contribute to community development through sustainable solutions. I believe that through this networking, there can be a continuation of the learning experience and an expansion of further opportunities for engagement on these issues.
What inspires you the most about the global civic engagement movement?
I believe that social justice issues are not confined by borders and that in every country; developed and developing, there are social issues that need to be addressed. For this reason, I believe a global civic engagement movement is important in creating awareness, as well as solutions. And through collaboration, not competition, we can create a critical mass of individuals who are willing and able, to actively participate in developing sustainable solutions.
A specific social issue which is particularly important to me is education. At the beginning of the year I participated in the Apps for Development competition and created an application to help address Millennium Development Goal 2 – universal primary education. Due to the platform that was used, I was able to receive feedback and commentary from individuals across the world, and could improve the application. Through this experience I was able to understand how initiatives such as these connect individuals and enable global movements which address key social issues.
I hope you have enjoyed this introduction and I look forward to keeping you informed on the activities of the Talloires Network Leaders Conference next week.
Cheers from South Africa,
University of Cape Town