SHAWCO has a long history of welfare, development, and education interventions. In 2005, SHAWCO students and staff refocused the then “Youth Development” sector into a new Education Sector. Overall this sector aimed to create an integrated model of intervention that linked projects both in throughput of learners and a conscious focus on definable outcomes. Since 2005 the Education Sector has evolved into a holistic host of activities aimed at:
- creating a safe learning space and encouraging a love of learning in our participants
- equipping participants with life-long skills and improving their access to further education
- broadening the experiences and perspectives of both the volunteers and participants
Education projects whether student run or staff run, aim to impact the academic ability of learners to access education, increase tertiary access, and offer additional interventions such as arts, sports, entrepreneurship, life skills and career advice. The overall holistic development of learners is also balanced by the experience, development and leadership opportunity of the students who volunteer and become leaders in the sector.
Typically SHAWCO has over 10 student projects running in the 5 SHAWCO centres (Khayelitsha, Kensington, Manenberg and Nyanga), schools and children homes. Volunteers are transported to and from the centres where they engage with learners with structured curriculum. Junior projects focus on literacy and numeracy whereas intermediate and senior projects focus on English, Maths, Physical Science and Life Skills.
After many years of community development and involvement in the broader dialogue and discussion of UCT’s role in community outreach and development, the sector bases its solid project intervention on continuous, sustainable, and consistent project sessions, and a complex internal and external evaluation process. Since 2005 the sector has developed a participatory, reflective process of evaluation that drives it forward to greater efficacy.