2017 SAWIP team returns from Washington DC

Posted on August 14, 2017


The South Africa – Washington International Programme (SAWIP) aims to inspire, develop and support diverse new generations of emerging South African leaders to be active in bringing about social and economic transformation and justice within a sustainable democracy. It entails a seven-month leadership development programme for students, with the focus on community engagement, professional work exposure and the development of servant leadership. Each year 20 students are selected from hundreds of applicants from the SAWIP partner universities, namely the University of Pretoria (UP), Stellenbosch University (SU), the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

This year's representatives from UP are Siphosethu Mpungose and Michael Reinders, who are both studying towards their LLB degrees, Tumelo Mohale, who is completing his final year in BCom Taxation, and Charné Janse van Rensburg, currently a 5th-year medical student. Layla du Plessis, an alumna from the 2016 SAWIP team, is the 2017 Team Manager with the portfolio Social Media and Communications, who is working alongside this year's Programme Assistant, Khethelo Nkosi. They are both still studying at UP.

The participants spent six weeks of the seven-month course in Washington DC to gain professional and cultural work exposure. This year's programme also included a weekend in New York which included, among other activities, engagements with finance and banking professionals from ICBC Standard and an engaging tour of the United Nations headquarters.

The students from UP gained their professional exposure at the World Bank, the Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, John Snow Incorporated, a public health firm and the Smoot Tewes Group, a political and public affairs consultancy.

Since servant leadership is a core SAWIP value, the last leg of the programme requires the team to use the experience, skills and insights that they have gained throughout the programme to impact communities in South Africa. The team hopes to achieve this by way of a community engagement project on which they will embark in Olievenhoutsbosch in the near future.



- Author Department of student Affairs

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