south africa (7)

On December 7th 2016, the Talloires Network's Support Grant Program for Engaged Faculty in Africa hosts a webinar with five presenters from Cameroon, Germany and South Africa. We are glad to have senior officers from MasterCard Foundation and African Leadership Academy and attendees from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana... join the meeting.

Elvis Akomoneh is a Lecturer and former Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Saint Monica University Cameroon and Guest Lecturer at the University of Bamenda, Northwest Cameroon. He is currently a final-year PhD student at the University of Buea. With a strong background in Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Medical Laboratory Technology, his research interest centers around emerging infectious diseases, an established cause for morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Elvis actively embeds civic engagement in his teaching and research. He initiated the Saint Monica University Health Center Franchise Project while working as the Coordinator of the School of Health and Human Services and is currently overseeing the projects in communities.
To begin, Elvis introduces how health students at Saint Monica University are prepared for life upon graduation through community-engaged healthcare services. Initiated in September 2013, the Health Center Franchise Project aims at developing a franchise system, whereby graduates of the Saint Monica University nursing and physician assistant programs will be able to establish health centers across the country, especially in underserved areas, thereby providing much needed healthcare in remote areas, while providing jobs for the healthcare professionals and strengthening the local economy.

Thomas Schrader, Professor at the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences (Technische Hochschule Brandenburg, Germany), is a Certified Pathologist and Professor of Applied Informatics (medical informatics). His teaching and research interest includes but not limited to: Telemedicine, eHealth, mHealth (working with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, sensors and actors) Biomedical Signal Processing, Digital Medical Image Processing, Medical Process Modeling, Assistance Systems in Medicine and Patient Safety.
Thomas is the architect behind the Telemedicine suitcase mTirage and helps us to understand the principle of the device as well as its workability in African communities.

Kenedy Abendong is a Nursing and a Public Health master’s student in the School of Health and Human Services, Saint Monica University. He’s currently the administrator of Access Care Clinic, a product of the Health Center Franchise Project which was founded with support from the Talloires Network’s Faculty Support Grant Program.
In the webinar, Kenedy presents the community engagement projects of his peers working at the clinic and “the health insurance scheme” established for the community.

Sunitha Srinivas is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University, South Africa. She has 23 years of experiences in the field: from a specialist at India Medicines Information Centre and India World Health Organization Essential Medicines Program to a community-engaged health advocate at Rhodes University.
In this second part, Sunitha demonstrates the networking for public health on behalf of Mr. Thandi Mzizi, Rhodes University’s Institutional Wellness Specialist on “Peer Educators Network for Health Promotion at Rhodes”. She also explains the employability skills that students learn from the project.

Her master’s student, Theodore Duxbury, is supported by a Research Development Grant for his research on Workplace Health Promotion: Tobacco Use. He’s working with Peer Educators in a collaborative manner to initiate sustainable development-based on health promotion.
To end the presentations, he reports on “Progress of Developing and End User Testing Culturally Sensitive and Contextually Specific Health Information Leaflets”.

Watch the webinar below and feel free to contact us for any comments or questions! 

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On July 7th 2016 Sunitha Srinivas and Theodore Duxbury conducted a webinar on Gender and Leadership in Health Promotion. Sunitha is an awardee of the Talloires Network's University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (UETLA) Faculty Support Grant. Theodore is her graduate students at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University.

They discuss how the role of gender and leadership can be enhanced to initiate health promotion activities in the workplace to combat the epidemic increase in non-communicable diseases in South Africa. The presenters explore the wellness model, which emphasizes disease prevention and the promotion of health.The presentation also shows how Theodore Duxbury and Praise Marara, as two graduate students working with Peer Educators at Rhodes, have incorporated Sustainable Development Goals and UN-based developments into the Workplace Health Promotion on Tobacco and Alcohol Use projects.

Watch the webinar below, and stay tuned for more webinars from UETLA grantees! 

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(L-R): Zanele Nkabinde, Robynn Ingle-Moller, Manchala Sithole, and Martina Jordaan

On September 29th 2016 Martina Jordaan, Robynn Ingle-Moller, Zanele Nkabinde, and Manchala Sithole in South Africa conducted a webinar on Sustainability of Community-Engaged Projects. Dr. Martina Jordaan is an awardee of the Talloires Network's University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (UETLA) Faculty Support Grant.

Martina is a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria. For the past 11 years, she has been responsible for Community-based Project Module (JCP), a compulsory module for all undergraduate students of the Faculty Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology. On behalf of campus-community partners, Robynn is from Bester Birds and Animal Zoo Park and Zanele is from Stanza Bopape Community Centre. Manchala is a representative of students who worked as mentors of the Module.

In their presentation, Martina gives the overview of the Community-based Project Module at her university, its three goals, vast number of enrolled students and diversity of implemented projects. She expounds how we can define and evaluate the sustainability of community-engaged projects - what it means to three groups of stakeholders: faculty, students, and communities. Robynn and Zanele help us to learn more about the projects and partnership that University of Pretoria have with their organizations. Lastly, Manchala presents about importance of mentorship for student development and exposure, and about what criteria and strategies are for sustaining the projects.

Watch the webinar below and stay tuned for more webinars from our Engaged Faculty!

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The University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (UETLA) program, an ongoing Talloires Network effort to recognize and support engaged faculty, continues to flourish with fruitful exchanges. In addition to quarterly conference calls and monthly online reflections, there have been several in-person meetings to enhance the learning and connection. On May 20th, Associate Professor Sunitha Srinivas of Rhodes University, one of ten UETLA grantees, visited the Talloires Network’s office and delivered a presentation on “Health Empowerment: By and With the Community.

Her stories were impressive and inspiring to the audience at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. We learned about her personal career path from an industry-focused pharmacist to a community-engaged health advocate. As she recalls her lifelong journey of learning, it has been a “humble beginning and progressive realization” throughout 23 years of experiences. To her, challenges such as working without a mentor or working as the only female in the group are valuable. Coming from Bangalore (India) with considerable experiences with the first Medicines Information Centre in the country and then India World Health Organization Essential Medicines Program, she relocated to Grahamstown (South Africa) to work at Rhodes University.

We also learned about Rhodes University, an institution that nurtured Sunitha’s passion for serving the majority of population who depends on public sector to access healthcare. Participating in the Community Experiential Program at the Faculty of Pharmacy, she started to question the prevalent model of “Disease-Drug-Dispense” and wanted to concentrate on health, not only disease. Rhodes’ three pillars that guide academics helped her to realize the need of integrating three elements in her work: teaching, research, and community engagement.

Through her vivid presentation, Sunitha shared about the community engagement projects and programs she has initiated for her students. A notable example is her students’ participation in National Science Festivals six times in ten years. These events included exhibits, board games, and computer quizzes. The initial effort brought Sunitha a Vice Chancellor’s Inaugural Distinguished Award in 2008, which strengthened her determination to do community engaged work. Other examples are health promotion for non-communicable diseases in National Science Week 2010, an eight-week workshop with traditional health practitioners, community outreach on World Heart Day and World Diabetes Day 2011, and various research projects by third-year students of Rhodes University Pharmacy Students Association from 2004 to 2014.

In the follow-up session, Sunitha and the audience had a lively discussion on both opportunities and challenges of community engagement. We all are impressed by her wisdom in the field and her devotion to those who need healthcare most.

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Meet the Engaged Faculty Cohort for 2016


In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, the Talloires Network announces the winners of the University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa Faculty Support Grants. We are pleased to host an international Selection Committee that chose the 10 grantees and two honorable mentions from a pool of 28 applicants from seven countries in Africa. The cohort represents some of the most unique and innovative programs in university-community engagement.

Please join us in welcoming the winners. Every month members of the cohort will post reflections and short writings on their work as engaged faculty at their home institutions in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Sudan, and Egypt. 

About the Faculty Support Grant Program: Seeks to support the ongoing learnings of the Youth Economic Participation Initiative, launched in 2012 to catalyze change in the way universities across the globe prepare their students for economic life after graduation. The purpose of this program is to support those efforts by documenting the work of university education for transformative leadership at African institutions, with an emphasis on outcomes of education strategies for youth leadership and employability. It also seeks to reinforce the broader goals of the Talloires Network and strengthening participation in the Community of Practice: The program aims to reinforce the Talloires Network 2014 Call to Action, by “expanding and strengthening university efforts to prepare their students for civic and economic participation and active citizenship – to educate students who are effective and successful global citizens.”

Grant Winners

- Elvis Akomoneh, Department of Health Sciences

Saint Monica University, Cameroon

Saint Monica Health Center Franchise Project partnering with the Ministry of Public Health in Cameroon

The project was initiated in September 2013 and aims at developing a franchise system, whereby graduates of the Saint Monica University (SMU) nursing and physician assistant programs will be able to establish health centers across the country, especially in underserved areas, thereby providing much needed health care in remote areas, while providing jobs for these health care professionals and strengthening the local economy.

- Sunitha Chandrasekhar Srinivas, Faculty of Pharmacy

Rhodes University, South Africa

Maternal and Child Health partnering with St. Mary’s Development and Care Center 

This initiative focuses on the Millennium Development Goals which address infant and child mortality and maternal health in South Africa. The program identifies maternal health issues of women in rural villages and seeks to provide educational interventions for healthy mothers and children.

- Efiti Filliam, School of Media Technology

LivingStone International University, Uganda

Internship partnering with the Bungokho Rural Development Centre

This innovative internship program gives Ugandan students opportunities to gain relevant experiences in their career field and exposure to determine if they have genuine interest in the field. It gives students the opportunity to have a “hands-on” experience with modern and contemporary practices in a dynamic economic work environment.

- Martina Jordaan, Department of Informatics

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Community-based Project Module partnering with the Stanza Bopape Health and Community Centre

This is a flagship module of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria. It is an eight-credit module (80 hours) offered on an open-ended and project-orientated basis. It gives all undergraduate students a structured, educationally sound experience in community engagement, service-learning and reciprocity with a community organization. Learn more on the program YouTube and Facebook.

- Phumelele Eleanor Kunene-Ngubane, Institute for Rural Development and Community Engagement

Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa

MUT Student Volunteerism Project partnering with the Ikamva Youth Organization

Founded in 2013, the project encourages students to be involved with community initiatives on a voluntary capacity. It seeks to create graduates who are responsible and conversant in community ethics.

- Anthony Leone, The Rhetoric and Composition Department

The American University in Cairo, Egypt

The Quartet of Course and Civic Engagement Conference Project partnering with the African Hope Learning Center

This annual project involves four academic courses with a semi-annual conference on civic engagement held at a partner university in Beirut, Lebanon. The project, which includes the Quartet and the Conference, all work together to enhance the opportunity for students to become active citizens who are agents for community change. And the project represents a manifestation of the sincere belief in the relationship between good scholarship and human development.

- Rwida Matar, School of Management Studies

Ahfad University for Women, Sudan

Creating Opportunities for Youth Employment partnering with the Babiker Badri Scientific Association for Women Studies

This program prepares students of all levels with soft skills to effectively interact with people from diverse backgrounds. The ethical leadership component teaches student to examine their views, values and biases in order to respond effectively to situations arising from diversity in their communities. It offers skills training to promote positive interactions and create awareness and encourage the use of community resources.

- Janice McMillan, Centre for Higher Education Development

University of Cape Town, South Africa 

Deliberate Pedagogy in the Community: Developing Citizen Leaders in Higher Education partnering with the Development Action Group

Founded in 2010 as a commitment by the University of Cape Town to grow active, global citizens with a commitment to work for social justice, citizenship and leadership.

- Olive Mugenda, School of Applied Human Sciences

Kenyatta University 

Kenyatta University Growing Leaders Programme partnering with Brilliant Technologies

The programme aims at inculcating transformational leadership skills and positive attitudes in young people, in preparation for their life after school. This is done by encouraging innovativeness and the ability to adapt in the world outside class and the vision to create own opportunities to advance both self as well as others in the society.

- Dina Wafa, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

The American University in Cairo, Egypt

Future Generations in Economic Development in Egypt and the Arab Region partnering with CARE-Egypt

This program strengthens economic advocacy of students at all levels in Egypt and the Arab region, focusing on access to information, creating a participatory approach and public policy reform.


Honorable Mentions

- Ayman Ismail, School of Business, Department of Management

The American University in Cairo, Egypt

AUC Venture Lab: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Egyptian Entrepreneurs partnering with Nahdet el Mahrousa

V-lab was established as an entrepreneurial incubator for students and non students that educates youth leaders in the form of entrepreneurs principles of running a startup successfully towards becoming effective and successful global citizens using university faculty and facilities.

- Lourens Botha Grove, UP Law Clinic, Procedural Law, Faculty of Law

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Practical Law / UP Law Clinic

This experiential learning course enables students to engaged practical legal experience in nearby communities by providing free legal services. 

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By Nadine Salib

On 22 May 2015, the Talloires Network team had the honour of hosting Elli Yiannakaris, Director of the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development (RAA) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 

Elli gave a presentation and updates on the many developments and students’ success stories, both current and alumni students in their network. Read more about their featured alumni stories on the RAA website. Elli described their latest strategies for recruitment and a measuring method called the Growth Wheel Business Assessment Tool. 

Elli spoke about how the RAA recruits students in the community. They are focused on helping “youth who have not had the opportunity, due to various socio-economic, academic or financial constraints, to achieve a tertiary education, but have shown entrepreneurial tendencies and display the drive to better themselves and their communities.” About 470 students have graduated from the Cape Town academy in total, and more than 83% are economically active (working, started a business or studying). She added that despite this success, integration of knowledge, skills and personal development into desired entrepreneurial behavior and skills was a long process. 

Like the RAA Facebook Page and read their latest news! 

The RAA offers two programs:

  • An innovative six-month, full-time program in entrepreneurial development which runs twice a year and involves around 180 students. 
  • A postgraduate support program – the Graduate Entrepreneur Support Service or GESS, geared towards graduates and alumni who have or would like to start a business.

Elli shares stories with the TN Secretariat at Tufts University in Boston. 



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