NEW REAP ORGANISATION PLAYING LEADING ROLE IN STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
With just three months in operation at WSU’s Buffalo City Camps (BCC), the Rural Education Access Programme (REAP) organization has begun its work of empowering WSU students which were evident in their two-day workshop held at the weekend.
The workshop, held by the REAP alongside its sister organization the Harambee social enterprise, an organization that accelerates youth employment opportunities in and around Buffalo City. Both the organization are under the Bumb’Ingomso non-profit social organization.
“The WSU REAP office began this year with the intention of focusing on WSU’s disadvantaged first time entering students, providing them with necessary skills and most importantly to minimize the drop-out rate and also being a source of guidance, support, and mentorship,” said REAP counselor Ziyanda Ntantiso.
Ntantiso heads the WSU REAP alongside two other colleagues of hers all with impeccable knowledge in the field of development studies from Rhodes University, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of the Western Cape.
This past weekend, the REAP team organized their student empowerment gathering together with Harambee. WSU students got to learn computer literacy and also a session on the building of a better and self-aware individual. The gathering, one of many the REAP team hopes to hold, aims at engaging with the students in a neutral environment where they won’t only teach, but also allow the students to get involved and guide one another.
According to Ntantiso, the REAP is specifically designed to cater for the rural and disadvantaged child entering the dynamic and cut-throat world of higher education. They aim at becoming close friends and support systems for the students, they aim at supporting them throughout university lie, work and throughout life.
“REAP has been helping us with coping with the transition from high school to university. It’s the first time learning about the computer systems and also social awareness” said first-year public relations student Awonke Simakade.
Although this year the organization is only running its pilot project, REAP has already partnered with WSU’s Centre for Learning, Teaching Development (CLTD) to further their vision and also forming similar relations with other institutional student developmental bodies.