1. Waste Disparities

    June 13, 2023 by Siphokazi S.

    Project Summary:

    Siphokazi S., a senior from South Africa, highlighted the unfulfilled promises of democracy in South Africa since 1994, particularly focusing on the persistent challenges faced by the 47 million South Africans living in townships. These townships, originally designed to segregate non-whites, continue to be plagued by unsafe conditions, poor education, and high unemployment, all exacerbated by economic disparities and failing municipal services.

    Faced with this vast systemic problem, Siphokazi decided to address the waste management aspect, leveraging her education, expertise, and connection to the community. Fluent in Isizulu and deeply familiar with the local issues, she aimed to create impactful change at the grassroots level.

    Siphokazi partnered with Birches and Eco School, whose curriculum focuses on sustainable lifestyles, to implement a similar framework in a government school. She taught life orientation (ALO) sessions to grade three students, emphasizing their rights and responsibilities, which were inadequately addressed by the current educational system.

    In collaboration with DSW (Durbin Solid Waste) and PET Recycling, Siphokazi drafted a contract to bring waste management education and facilities to the school. She conducted three sessions with the students, teaching them how to manage waste effectively. Additionally, she set up a Waste Management Center at the school and created Isizulu posters to reinforce the teachings.

    The initiative resulted in the collection of three tons of paper, two tons of plastic, half a ton of tin, and a ton of cardboard, generating 400 rand per month. The revenue was reinvested into the school to improve classroom environments.

    Siphokazi’s project demonstrated the significant impact young students can have on their community. She envisions expanding this framework to other schools across South Africa, believing that true freedom requires more than just voting—it demands active, meaningful actions and services.

    Siphokazi’s efforts reflect her mother’s advice: to act on what she believes in, striving for a better, more sustainable future for her community.

  2. Info Link

    July 26, 2022 by Siphokazi S.

    Driving Question: How might we use blockchain technology to create future innovative ventures?

    What were your goals for this module? How did you achieve them?

    At the beginning of this module, I wasn’t quite sure what blockchain was and all I wanted to do was figure it out. By the end of the module, I was able to go beyond just understanding basic blockchain I was able to merge it with something that I enjoyed in my summative product.

    What new things did you learn about yourself?

    I learned to embody the TGS core value of grit, as I was online because of COVID this term. It really taught me to be patient with myself and to let my curiosity fuel me and challenge me to learn something new. This term was full of a lot of personal growth and I can proudly say I’m not the same as I was in the beginning of the term.

    What are your big takeaway lessons from this project?

    I think that my biggest lesson is to trust myself. At the beginning of this project, I was scared that I wouldn’t understand anything because I didn’t have a background in tech and coding. I thought I would really struggle, and before I even started the module, I was stressed about it. But I convinced myself to open my mind and be positive and to link it with something I understood.

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