Specific objectives of our project changed over time. Despite this, the core of our work stayed relatively constant. We could not have accomplished near what we did without our partners or project resources. Here are some of our major accomplishments:

Setting up the photo shop1. Setting up a photo service at the Indlovu Project

The heart of our work was establishing a photo service at the Indlovu Project for community members. Research was done on the best options for equipment and we purchased a printer and a digital camera. We worked with two co-researchers, Nodumo and Anele, to shoot and print digital images. It is hoped that the photo service will  raise revenue for the Indlovu Project and provide photo services to guests, volunteers, and most importantly community members.

2. Contacting outside organizations establish programmes in Monwabisi Park

One of our project goals was to learn how outside organizations could provide support for redevelopment efforts in Monwabisi Park. We looked at two programmes one offered by the  University of Cape Town and the other by False Bay College. We were never able to meet with the University of Cape Town programme coordinators. The MOT programme at False Bay College focuses on youth and aims to improve the social environment and basic quality of life by teaching vital life and social skills in diverse environments. After meeting with a representative, we drafted a proposal for MOT to expand its programme to Monwabisi Park.

3. Organizing college assessment exams for residents

After speaking with one of our co-researchers, we learned community members who had received their “matric” (high school degree) wanted to find further educational opportunities. They also wanted to know about potential financial aid opportunities. We contacted False Bay College and set up an information session for community members. We learned that False Bay offers assessment exams and programmes in areas such as engineering design or computer science.  Sixteen community members signed up for an assessment exam.

Siya's Presentation4. Learning with our co-researchers

A very important aspect of our project was developing the community co-researcher programme. We developed meaningful relationships and friendships with all of the co-researchers. They were WPI project teams link to the community and taught us a lot about the issues and challenges facing community members of Monwabisi Park. We also trained them in practical skills such as typing, camera use, and running the community based photo shop. The co-researcher programme was a valuable part of every team’s experience in Monwabisi Park and is important to any future work WPI does in Monwabisi Park.

5. Documenting community members’ thoughts on the redevelopment process

After having conversations with our advisors and our sponsor, Di Womersley, we decided we wanted to explore community members’ opinions on redevelopment. We wanted to better grasp what people thought about equity, the distribution of benefits from redevelopment, and how much people would willingly get involved in the redevelopment process.  We videotaped interviews with 14 residents and asked them questions related to the prospect of sandbag housing for new houses. We learned that many people would potentially get involved in the redevelopment process, but they want to first understand exactly what is going on.

6. Planning and documenting final celebration

The culmination of the 2009 WPI projects was an open presentation to the community of Monwabisi Park. Project sponsors, city officials, WPI students, and community members all attended this event. It conveyed the work WPI students did  in Monwabisi Park and showcased the Indlovu Project. Our team helped coordinate the event with Di Womersley and video taped the event.