After spending a semester learning as much as we could about South African history and culture, we were ready to start our adventure in learning and service in corporate communications in a different country. Our group worked as communications consultants for Jo’burg Child Welfare, one of South Africa’s biggest non-profit organizations. In a span of three weeks, our four-person team completed a comprehensive audit of the organization’s use of digital media. We also implemented several improvements to the organization’s website, and its use of Twitter and Facebook. We also conducted interviews and produced four informational videos and a photo gallery for the organization to use to promote its work.
Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development is a non-governmental organization launched in April 1994 and located in Johannesburg. The organization is opposed to all forms of oppression, exploitation and violence against women, and focuses on the prevention of gender violence and the empowerment of women. Our four-person team helped Nisaa refine its message about how it promotes women and children’s rights through awareness and advocacy, educational training, counseling services, shelter services and in developing both national and international partnerships. The organization is also committed to ensuring that women and children live in a world free of violence. Nisaa has three offices in the Johannesburg area: in Lenasia, Soweto, and Orange Farm.
Twenty-two years after the fall of Apartheid, young people in South Africa are tired of waiting for the opportunities promised by Nelson Mandela and his generation of leaders of the African National Congress. “We are supposed to be Mandela’s children, but we are not equal,” said Pontsho Pilane, a journalist for South Africa’s Mail & Guardian. “The system needs to be completely overhauled. What is up now needs to come down. We are tired of waiting.” Our five-person team of reporters examined a variety of issues that fall under the banner of a movement called “Fees Must Fall,” including the politics of demands for free, quality higher education, decolonization of university curricula across the country, and women’s rights.