On 11 May 2021, third year Community Health Nursing students accompanied by Clinical staff from the School of Nursing within Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (CHS), were out in Fisantekraal to complete their community outreach projects they have conducted over a six-week period. Fisantekraal is one of the key community engagement sites where Faculty of Community and Health Sciences places its students on Clinical practices and platforms.
Annually the students deeply entrenched themselves in the Fisantekraal community to get a sense of the community life, lifestyle and challenges, thus enable them to make informed decisions in areas where they can do strategic intervention and be of assistance to the community at large. They do so by implementing projects and programmes that can be of value to the community and be sustainable. This year the student initiated, implemented and collaborated in a number of projects
with other stakeholders such as City of Cape Town Wellness and Mosselbaai Conservation Team. Some of the projects, included the following:
- Health and Wellness Screenings including Physical Activity and exercise for the aged.
- Awareness Talk and Creative games to engage subject matter around TB, HIV and reproductive health
- Students also repainted a netball court for kids, thus creating a safe space for physical activity
- Started a garden project upcycling 2 litre bottles and tyres to create an eco-friendly garden using “eco bricks”
- Upcycling a shipping container and turning into eco-friendly floating garden
Ms Ilze Steenkamp, Lecturer and Clinical Coordinator said “our students will have their project interventions on this day and will do a walk about and visit the various groups viewing their innovative ideas put into action, I’m so proud of them”.
The faculty (UWC) has been working in the Fisantekraal community for a while now, placing health sciences students at various community organizations and institutions to deliver health and social care programmes that benefit the community members.
“This is called a vertical wall garden, we are trying to educate the communities to recycle and upcycle using plastics as they don’t have enough space in their yard and also educate them about the benefits of having plants as natural medicine”, said third year nursing student Judith Rushwaya.
Community engagement and social responsiveness is a fundamental pillar of health sciences education at UWC and the university has shown and demonstrated that it is committed to go an extra mile in serving the communities in Cape Town and surrounding areas. This drive and commitment will continue to grow each year, thereby impacting communities and making health and other services accessible to the most vulnerable and marginalised.