Student Chapter

 
The Student Chapter is a society working to promote student activism through volunteerism within communities around the Nelson Mandela Metro. This ‘activism’ is driven by the belief that within the South African context an Afrocentric approach to student volunteerism is essential. 
In this regard, the student society will facilitate programmes that not only bring a critically enriching change to learners in the communities it partners with, but also programmes that create agents of social change from the University students involved.
 
Overarching Objective
To promote student activism through community work by facilitating sustainable programmes that encourage a culture of efficiency and a commitment to a solution based approach through a collaborative process. We seek to motivate a critical and Afrocentric thinking within and outside the University, to enhance community development and empower leaners and students to be adaptable and be resilient to any form of adversity within the societal context of South Africa.
 
Student Chapter Objectives:
a) To promote student activism by encouraging students to be part of community programs pertinent to Unako Student chapter;
b) To trigger the mind-set of learners to be able to critically engage with the content they receive in the process of learning, through a series of dialogues, meaningful interactions, presentations and debates;
c) To expand the scope of training students receive in university to activate a determined resolve towards social change, through engagements with society;
d) To be the catalytic agents that stimulate interest for Maths and Science in lower grades (Grade 4-9).
 
Outreach Programme
We facilitate a process where students become actively involved in the process of soliciting support from the private sector and the communities concerned, in order to ensure that resources may be utilised in the most effective manner. Through this process we anticipate the creation of a much more conducive and supportive environment for disadvantaged learners. Our outreach programmes will include the following:
a) To provide sanitary pads to schools primarily to find a solution in an environment where poor girls are repeatedly kept away from school.
b) Collection of stationery and extra learning material to provide much needed academic support.
c) To lobby private sector and different student societies to come together and raise funds for infrastructure within the school of Thamsanqa.
 
Learning Clubs
Unako Student Chapter Society is of the view that learners who come from schools in townships should be provided the necessary tools to access institutions of higher learning. Considering the inadequate learning environment, the challenges of insufficient academic support (at home and at school) meeting the required admission criteria is often not realised. This means that townships, where the majority of South Africans live, continue in a volatile trajectory of idleness delinquency and perpetuates the protracted inequalities, further indicating that young people are disenabled from positively contributing to their communities and the wider society.  
a) Considering the wide ranging social conditions under which learners find themselves, we have decided to adopt schools that are underperforming to provide support where the learners and teachers see it necessary. 
b) Our aim is to ensure that the identified schools receive holistic support i.e. academically, socially, emotionally and physically. Every aspect of being is important towards a learners functioning. 
c) Learners will be capacitated in the process to facilitate a meaningful programme that goes beyond academic contact. This programme will be divided in two folds, we would introduce an after-school programme to spark interest of learners from grade 8-9 with maths and science subjects and we will also have tutoring sessions for grade 10-12. We will have social clubs such as debate clubs, life skills club, cultural club and literacy club to ensure we are holistic in our approach.
 
Career indaba
Career indaba is to move away from a career exhibition programme that only provides learners with information with regards to admission point scores. We believe that learners’ aspirations should be more reflective of themselves with regards to their strengths, weaknesses, and passion when they choose a career. We would like learners to be up to date on what careers are available to them, and how those career paths may be useful not only for personal development but to develop the communities they come from. 
We strive to assist learners to understand the context of the University space, to be aware of the students’ struggles and understand the support system that they may utilise to cope, we seek to encourage them to always remember who they are and take pride in themselves. We believe agents of social change are those who recognise their background, who are conscious about it and who constantly identify with the societal context.  This will assist learners to have a good transition from high school to university. Our career indaba will enable learners to critically engage on the relevance of the career. We will invite different professionals to expound on their experiences in the work field as well as in their process of obtaining their scope of practice.  Our career indaba will target grade 9-12.