Matie Community Service (MGD) in the Division for Social Impact recently held its annual general meeting (AGM). The AGM is a platform for reporting on the activities of MGD's three programmes – the primary healthcare, matric and one-stop volunteer programme – over the past year, while also providing an opportunity to celebrate their impact.
To add to the annual report delivered by Renee Hector Kannemeyer, Head: MGD and Deputy Director: Social Impact, students and partners also shared their experience participating in MGD's programme offering.
Primary healthcare programme
The primary healthcare (PHC) programme provides Medicine and Health Sciences students an opportunity to gain real-world clinical experience with members from the community. Wade du Plessis and Nthabiseng Xashimba, both MBChB students, spoke about how this programme enhanced their studies and lives. “The programme has provided a reason for me to carry on with my degree. It constantly reminded me of why I had chosen to study medicine, and why I should carry on, even when things get tough. It became a vehicle to teach me the softer skills for interacting with patients. The PHC programme means a lot to the community, as well as to the students," said Wade. Nthabiseng added the following: “Through the PHC programme, I was already doing things in my first year that I am only being taught now in my third year, which helps build one's confidence as a future medical practitioner. Our engagement with the patients goes beyond simply dealing with their pathologies. It's a constant reminder of why I'm here. I now also know what physiotherapists and occupational therapists do because I was able to interact with the allied health sciences students."
Through a partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training, MGD's matric programme offers education and training to adult learners who wish to obtain their matric certificates. Elizabeth Rhoda, an adult learner, related how she learnt something new every day participating in the programme: “Thank you to the dedicated teachers for their support. Thank you to MGD for affording adult learners this opportunity." Interest and enrolment in the matric programme is growing steadily.
One-stop volunteer programme
In a bid to create a culture of volunteerism among Stellenbosch University students, the one-stop volunteer programme offers students the opportunity to become involved in volunteer initiatives through clusters or residences on both Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campus. Having participated in an initiative aimed at fostering relationships with the children of Cloetesville, student Georgina Barker said: “This outreach has shown me that children need to feel loved and know that someone is there for them. We all need to make a difference where we can, and make life better for all – this is why this outreach project is important. I have learnt to be myself around the children, and to be aware of what I say and how I treat others."
For more on impact, consult the MGD annual report at: https://www.sun.ac.za/si/en-za/Documents/MGD/SU%20Social%20impact%20MGD%20Annual%20Report%20(ENG)%202017.pdf