Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the 6 weeks that we are in Cape Town, Anita, Maggie, and I have made the trek to the UCT Upper Campus, climbed aboard the bright blue Jammie Shuttle, and walked from UCT’s Hiddingh campus to our placement site in the heart of downtown Cape Town. Our office is located in a beautiful building surrounded by restaurants, shops, and craft vendors right by St. George’s Mall and Greenmarket Square. My community based organization is Sonke Gender Justice Network. Sonke is a non-profit organization based in South Africa that aims to reduce the spread of HIV, promote gender equality and the changing of traditional gender roles, and reduce domestic and gender-based violence. It does so by encouraging the government, the community, and individual citizens to support men and boys in taking action. Sonke aims to effect change in South Africa and internationally by addressing government policies, traditional cultures, societal organizations, the media, and the family, which influence both community norms and practices and individual attitudes.
|Anita and I in the intern office|
|Anita, Maggie, and I at the Sonke Prison Youth Day Event|
|Sonke's One Man Can campaign|
So far, I have completed the model and report, which my supervisor says she wants me to present at the next internal staff training. This is very exciting but a bit nerve-wracking! My next project will be assisting with operational research on Sonke’s MenEngage Africa program by interviewing their regional partners about the successes and challenges of the MenEngage program so far. That information will be used to make changes before the next phase of the program begins.
It has been a great experience working at Sonke with my fellow interns Anita and Maggie, and the incredible Sonke staff. I will miss stopping at Motherland Coffee Company in the morning when we arrive at work before the doors are unlocked, occasionally dashing down to Crush or the Food Lover’s Market for lunch, and climbing up and down the many flights of stairs to meet with our supervisors or attend staff meetings. We only have one week left at our placement sites and in Cape Town, and it will definitely be sad to leave.
Written by Jill Anderson