Student Guide to Acts and Scenes 2014

Coming Soon!

Over the course of two months in South Africa, there will be a lot happening. There will be exceptional days and there will be disappointing days. Plans might change, but that does not change the level of impact these projects have on communities. These scenes have been chosen for their content to help you realize the excitement and struggles you might encounter while on IQP and give you an idea of how students have dealt with this very unique process in the past. Looking through each project’s narrative will give you an opportunity to understand the exciting and completely overwhelming experience that is the Cape Town Project Centre!


Initial Reactions

Our First Days: Students arrive in Langrug informal settlement, confronting hard realities, but also feeling excited as they begin connecting with co-researchers (WaSH Services 2014).

Connecting with Communities

Painting the Town: The women and students of the Safe House team work together to start painting the inside of the Safe House, learning new tricks and tips side by side (Safe House 2014).

“It doesn’t matter where the books come from”: Students and co-researchers bond over childhood games and songs, helping each other learn and understand the new lyrics before heading to a local library and bookstore to get books for community members (WaSH Services 2014).

Emotions Run High: Vendors and students learn more about each other through taped and written interviews, learning sad and exciting stories from each other’s lives (Big Issue 2014).

Beginning Steps of Planning

Progress Behind Closed Doors: Students and stakeholders try to discuss the specifics of the crèche design but struggle to decide on anything even though all members of the team are on board and ready to tackle the project (Flamingo 2014).

Pushing for Progress: Attempting to finish the design for the crèche, the students and stakeholders discuss the final details and appoint two community members to be leaders in this project, with the students (Flamingo 2014).

Getting to Know Wonderbags and Building Networks: Students begin networking through different crèches by giving a presentation in a classroom full of crèche leaders, laying the foundation for their business initiative (Energy 2014).

Just Do It: Three Creche Visits: Visiting Gege’s crèche provides an opportunity for the students to start planning the beginning stages of the Pilot Programme and to recognize the potential of selling Wonderbags through the schools (Energy 2014).

What’s in a Name?: Students work with community members to establish a name and purpose for their Savings Group, helping them become more organized and effective as a group (WaSH Business 2014).

Importance of Tangible Change

Making Physical Progress: The team makes the decision on paint for part of the WaSH Facility makeover and spends the day dancing, singing, painting, and bonding (WaSH Services 2014).

A Burst of Color: Students and co-researchers from both WaSH teams take painting by storm and almost finish the entire interior of the WaSH Facility. The students also take time to bond after the day in Langrug is done (WaSH Services 2014).

The Final Coat: Upon painting the last room of the house, the students notice an increase in confidence and independence in the women they work with and feel motivated by the rest of their team to finish this massive project (Safe House 2014).

Gettin’ Down and Dirty: Students help the community clear out the lot for the crèche, making an impact on the community and the building process in general (Flamingo 2014).

Leaving a Little Handprint: A local company donates cement to Flamingo for the base of the crèche, officially starting phase one of the construction process. On the second day, the students work with the little children of the community to create beautiful murals out of handprints (Flamingo 2014).

Kiosk or Bust!: The WaSH Business team and Langrug community members work together to get a health kiosk up and running by purchasing supplies, finishing final physical details, and setting up prices (WaSH Business 2014).

Dealing with Tensions

Too Tense for Words: Students come face to face with community dynamics issues concerning the Savings Group that affect the energy and productivity of the day (WaSH Business 2014).

Realizing Our Humanity: There are always obstacles when working with a big group, but there is also a lot of growth. Community members and the WaSH Services team bond together during a talk much deeper than any of them anticipated, allowing each other a true glimpse into one another’s lives (WaSH Services 2014).

Actions Speak Louder than Words: The WaSH students handle the tensions within the community, while also working together to dispel tensions between the two student groups (WaSH Business 2014).

Overcoming Obstacles

Another Day, Another Design: Although there was a setback in the plan to receive tires first thing in the morning, the students created a plan of action and pushed forward with their goals of building a tire structure for the children of Flamingo Crescent (Flamingo 2014).

On a Roll…: The students demonstrate that just because plans are not rolling out accordingly does not mean progress must stop. The students and community members worked together to get more supplies, continue the mural, and get donations from local companies (Flamingo 2014).

Water Works (Literally)!: Despite issues among the community and the students, the return of water to the WaSH facility provided an opportunity for everyone to overcome the tension and continue working toward the end goal (WaSH Business 2014).

Seeing Through a Vendor’s Eyes: The students work effectively through language barriers to establish a plan of action for the day and end by beginning to show the vendors how to use the video cameras for the rest of the project (Big Issue 2014).

Recognizing Impact

One Team, One Family: While having a fantastic day in the community, students and co-researchers finish painting the inside and outside of the WaSH Facility, enough some dancing and playing, and truly become one big team (WaSH Services 2014).

The More We Get Together…: Staying goodbye during this process is extremely hard, especially when you have worked so closely with a group of people. The students share their reflections on the last day and give us a glimpse into the goodbye they shared with their community (Safe House 2014).

Sharing a Coke with…Friends: The vendors take the students on a tour of their homes, allowing all the vendors to connect and create a community within themselves. The students recognize how amazing this is and realize the impact a feeling of comradery can have on a group of people (Big Issue 2014).