Meet the Team

Initiation Site Development Team, Cape Town, 2010

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our project, please contact the Initiation Site Development Team at If you have any general questions or concerns for the Cape Town project centre, please contact

Qiu Chen ProfileQiu Chen

WPI Class of 2012, Actuarial Mathematical Science and Computer Science

Through seven weeks of research and fieldwork, I have become fascinated with the sacred initiation culture and the significance it has for the Xhosa people. I have had the opportunity to participate in the program that has been educational and allowed me to work in a team. I have been exposed to the fields of city planning and botany that are outside my major area of study. I have also been able to learn about how city government interacts with people and the internal project development process in Cape Town by working closely with the city government.

Matt Connolly's Profile PictureMatt Connolly

WPI Class of 2012, Fire Protection Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

The opportunity to come to South Africa was a reason why I chose WPI, and this experience is one that I will never forget.  Being outside of Monwabisi Park away from the children, the poverty, and community, our project involving the design of an initiation site removed us from everything that I expected at Cape Town.  This allowed me to see a different side of a complex society, while forcing me to mature as a team member and engineer.  New friends, a new outlook on many things, and a greater understanding for South African culture—a once in a lifetime trip.

Luis's Profile PictureLuis Quiroga

WPI Class of 2012, Management Information System

Even though my project was not based in Monwabisi Park, I experienced a deep immersion in the Xhosa culture by helping to maintain one of the most important rituals for some South African tribes.  By being involved developing an initiation site, I had to find new ways to apply my abilities in an unknown topic to produce the best results.  I will definitely pursue further the valuable relationships I established here.

Andrew's Profile PictureAndrew Stewart

WPI Class of 2012, Chemical Engineering

I came to the Cape Town project centre with the hope that I would be able to help the people of the Cape Town community through my work. Working closely with the City of Cape Town,  I was able to work towards sustaining an integral part of their culture. During my time here I have learned a lot about working with people from entirely different backgrounds and will bring these experiences back home with me.