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media releases - Unisa gives the Diepsloot community a Chance 2 Advance

Unisa will spend three weeks between 16 July and 3 August 2012 imparting critical life skills to the community of Diepsloot, North of Johannesburg.  80 free classes will be conducted over this period, catering for the specific learning needs of the community; ranging from career planning to business, health and financial planning.

Unisa will undertake this community engagement programme through its Chance 2 Advance Programme, a community learning initiative that seeks to raise awareness of the inherent capacity of humans to learn, to know, to work; and to serve. It is aimed mainly at marginalized communities, given the learning challenges encountered by these communities; and uses a campaign methodology to promote a culture of learning through relevant and creative informal learning interventions. The ultimate goal is to contribute to skills learning, critical thinking, social revitalisation and social justice.

The Chance 2 Advance Programme is one of the strategic programmes of the university and is driven by Unisa’s Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Narend Baijnath.

The Diepsloot leg of the programme follows successful sessions already held in Flagstaff and Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape (22-23 May), Western Cape (25 April), Sunnyside, Pretoria (5-9 March) and Durban South (26-30 March).

Key stakeholders in Diepsloot, including community-based organisations, schools, faith groups and the South African Police Service, have also expressed enthusiasm and gratitude about the programme. Many of them commented that a learning and empowerment initiative of this nature and scope is a first for Diepsloot. 

As part of the drive to promote the initiative, Professor Baijnath visited Diepsloot recently and was excited by the unprecedented response to the programme, with over 10 000 registrations captured within the first two weeks of the opening of the registration period.

He also used the opportunity to meet and welcome Diepsloot community members who have been selected to become Chance 2 Advance learning ambassadors in this community; and who had just completed three days of intensive training.

‘Professor Baijnath’s visit and message of encouragement demonstrated Unisa’s commitment to ensuring that marginalised communities gain access to knowledge and skills; and have ample opportunity for learning and development’ said Project Director, Dr Genevieve James.

For enquiries and interviews, please contact Dr Genevieve James on (012) 429-6948/0824782442 or      

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