Archive for the ‘RU’ tag
RU Community Engagement held a function for all their volunteers, in which they received awards for their special involvement in the various organisations in Grahamstown that work for or with the community. CE is committed to social and individual transformation, sustainable community development, student civic responsibility and scholarship of engagement. The VSA is one of the many host organisations within the CE network.
In the course of this year, about 8 students engaged themselves in the ICT4D work of the VSA by means of teaching computer and Internet literacy in conjunction with our community coordinators by means of awareNet. three of them received an award for their effort: Lesego Moshikaro, Philisiwe Mbogwana and Eva Zake.
The mutual benefit of this is evident: The volunteers generally enjoy the experience, gain personal growth and get an insight to life after University. They do make a difference and stand out from the rest. Thank you very much for your passion and commitment!
Lesego Moshikaro assisted us during the awareNet Theme Song Project. She was very proactive, helpful and patient with the learners. We hope that she will come back to the VSA next year.
The VSA started a great collaboration with Rhodes’ Community Engagement. CE organised 10 volunteers who are going to work with us for the year 2011. We are very happy to welcome such a large group of motivated, young and active students. Thank you very much for your interest!
The volunteers are going to join Thozi, Rhini’s community coordinator, into the awareNet classes at the various schools in Rhini to work together with the learners and assist Thozi in his work, ie. teaching. All of them are experienced Internet users and professional social networkers who cannot wait to get into contact – personally and electronically – with all those learners who have very little experience in this field.
We believe that they will be a great inspiration for them (eg. by blogging about their own experiences and personal views on awareNet) and that they will motivate them to become more innovative and self-confident in the awareNet network. We hope that, together, they can work on important projects that will be published in Upstart for a greater audience, and that the learners will start discussing their opinions, issues and concerns more openly with increasing trust in the young volunteers – something that is usually missing in the South African traditional way of teaching.
The VSA has some exciting new developments to report:
- Anna Wertlen is currently writing a proposal to the Makana Municipality for the usage of a large building in Joza-Rhini. Several stakeholders are interested to move into the building to strengthen and widen partnerships to serve the community, eg. RLabs, the Centre for Social Development, The Makana Science Alliance, the Mobile Science Lab and Upstart, except from the VSA apparently. This development is very exciting and promising. The Makana Science Alliance also showed interest in placing science content onto awareNet and offering online teaching.
- Our proposal to the UK Department of International Development for academic research on and implementation of the Village Scribe Project made it onto the short list. Final decisions are expected in April.
- Ron Wertlen is currently working on a study into the Potential to Utilize Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to Promote Inclusion, Public Participation and Accountability in Local Governance in South Africa. This feeds us a lot of useful information and opens up future possibilities for eKhaya ICT.
- Manuela Walsdorf-Maul, a lecturer of the Technical University, is visiting the Eastern Cape tomorrow to explore possibilities for a collaboration with the VSA and Bulungula Incubator to build additional classrooms for the No ofisi School in Nqileni.
- We are working on an awareNet spin-off, it’s a commercial product, it is cool and builds on perhaps 3 or 4 key insights. These are things we knew, and that loads of visitors to the projects reaffirmed by saying, “Wouldn’t is be groovy if we could do that?” Well, finally, it will be possible. More news before the end of 2011.
- The VSA is a partner of Rhodes University International School. Together, we offer a course to students from USA and Italy called Environment, Development, Sustainability in (South) Africa, whereby the VSA offers the elective ICT4D with the possibility to visit Rhini and Bulungula. Mid April we will know how many students will attend.
- Ron Wertlen submitted a solicited proposal to USAASA. The agency is currently ramping up their access intiatives, including the broader themes of training and software, but mainly pure access to communication signals. Being one of their focus regions, the Eastern Cape is hopeful of receiving USAASA support, and we are hoping that some of our initiatives, will be funded. We’ll know soon if our proposal has been accepted.
- We handed in our application for registration as a South African non-profit organisation and are waiting to be accepted. This will give us the possibility to apply for volunteer work from the German Weltwärts Programme and Rhodes University Community Engagement.