New staff
   
     
 

Andile Mayekiso

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
I see the CI as an institute that can help me grow as a young researcher to develop my research skills, especially the qualitative side, because I enjoy working with people. I also hope to register for a PhD one day with UCT to further my studies.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
I have a Masters degree in Sociology (development studies) from Rhodes University. I have worked with communities as a student and as an intern when I was at the Community Agency for Social Enquiry. I'm more interested in issues on HIV/AIDS, the Child Support Grant, and developmental issues in general.

What will you be working on at the CI?
I'm working on the Infants and HIV/AIDS Project, where I assist with data collection through conducting interviews with male partners and elders in the community, including traditional healers, and female participants. I also transcribe sound files for the project, do literature searches online and assist with fieldwork co-ordination.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
My wish is to see children in this country being protected and cared for (especially in public health facilities because the majority of our people cannot afford medical aid). [I’d like] to see children attending school, drinking clean water, being provided with warm clothes in the winter, taking part in sport wherever they are in South Africa, and the government doing more for those born with disabilities.

 

Bruce Meissner

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
The Children's Institute seemed like an organisation that stood for a good cause.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
A BA in Film and Media Production from UCT, specialising in Interactive Media. I have been freelancing for three years now in web, design and video production, so I have gathered many experiences in web development, especially through the many sites I have created.

What will you be working on at the CI?
I will be working on maintaining the websites under the CI brand and the databases.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
That they would all recognise the power they have within themselves.

 

Ariane De Lannoy

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
I had just finished my PhD and wanted to continue with research, but in a much more applied environment. I like the combination of research and advocacy work that the Children's Institute is so well known and respected for.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
I have a Masters in Languages, and in International Politics, and a PhD in Sociology. I think I bring the experience of working in very diverse situations, ranging from corporate environments, to NGOs, and the academic world. Most of my research experience has been in the field of children's needs and rights. My corporate experience was in market research, marketing and communication.

What will you be working on at the CI?
I will be managing a Princeton-funded research project that aims to understand the way in which young people are making sense of their (social and political) realities in post-apartheid South Africa. We wish to understand, among others, the way in which they regard present and future opportunities in the country. Apart from that, I work within the Child Poverty Programme, and will help with [updating commentary to] the education data for the Children Count Project.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
I wish South Africa would be a place where all their dreams and aspirations could be realised! My work and that of colleagues has shown that so many of South Africa's children have very high hopes for their future. We know children can grow to their fullest potential by providing them with sufficient guidance, support, care and protection. I wish them all that.

 

Karl Groenewald

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
I joined the CI because I support the worthy causes they strive to accomplish. I enjoy working for universities, and the departments thereof, as they play a major role in all societies.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
I have about eight years experience in IT, and network infastructure. I was busy with my BSC IT when I left [the University of the Free State] to join the CI, and wish to continue my studies in the near future.

What will you be working on at the CI?
My main responsibilities are desktop and network support for the CI and other units [on our satellite campus]. I am to ensure the streamline and running of all network infastructure, and liason for the CI with the rest of the IT community at UCT.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
I wish for a better life for all children in South Africa, and am glad that there is an institute such as the CI that is able to take the side of the children, and fight for the things that they are otherwise unable to.

 

Khululwa Seyisi

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
Children are my passion, and I started tailoring my career towards human rights specifically about three years ago. The CI presented me with an opportunity to enhance my career whilst contributing to bettering the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society - children.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
I have an LLB degree, am an admitted attorney and have practiced on various areas of law for almost six years. My career path/history has always been influenced by a need to address and redress inequalities in the lives of the most ordinary South Africans.

What will you be working on at the CI?
I co-ordinate the Social Service Professions Advocacy Network (SSPAN). That entails directing and facilitating law-reform activities of the network members, and conducting strategic communication advocacy activities aimed at ensuring dialogue with government decision-makers.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
I dream of South Africa’s children living in a fair and just society, free of violence and abuse, free to participate in the decision-making of any matter(s) affecting them; where difference of opinion is appreciated; where difference of culture and skin color is celebrated, not tolerated.

 

Lori Lake

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
Over the past 10 years, I have been involved in a number of projects related to children's health and well-being and the CI felt like the ideal place to consolidate and build on those experiences.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
I have an honours degree in Anthropology, but have spent most of my working life developing educational materials for a range of organisations and government departments, including the Medical Research Council, Early Learning Resource Unit, Adult Learning Network, RAPCAN, Fairest Cape Association and City of Cape Town Fire Department and Disaster Management.

What will you be working on at the CI?
I have been employed as a commissioning editor/materials developer and will be working on a number of large writing projects, including the South African Child Gauge and Caring Schools Project.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
I dream of a world where children are free to play, learn, explore and reach their full potential. A world that puts children first, that listens and responds to children's needs. This entails breaking down barriers and working together to nurture the development of the whole child – heart, body, mind and soul.

 

Tendai Ngenga-Chakarisa

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
The Institute’s research and advocacy activities over a wide range of children’s rights issues offered me with a perfect opportunity not only to continue with my legal research on children’s rights but also provided me with valuable knowledge and experience on the practicalities of applying children’s rights principles in a country with a rich diversity of cultures.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
I hold a Diploma in Mass Communication (Print Journalism) and a BA Law, LLB (hons) (National University of Lesotho) and LLM (UCT) degrees. I recently successfully completed my PhD (Public Law) (UCT) and will be graduating in June ’09. I have worked as a journalist, a teacher, a legal drafter and advisor, and a tutor in international law. I thus bring experiences in teaching and research.

What will you be working on at the CI?
Resuscitating and teaching the LLM course in Children’s Rights at UCT’s Faculty of Law, drafting a child rights curriculum for health professionals, and publishing in academic journals.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
To be able to enjoy a full range of rights within their specific contexts.

Patricia Henderson

Why did you join the Children's Institute?
I have been following CI publications with interest, as my doctoral research and subsequent work as an anthropologist involved working with children and young people. Publications were of a high quality in terms of the critical analysis they brought to bear on current developments, and they seemed to play a role in increasing awareness within university settings and civil society organisations about the shortcomings of certain approaches and terms used within studies concerning children and childhoods. I already knew a number of researchers who worked at the Institute, whom I respected.

What qualifications and experiences do you bring?
I have a PhD is Social Anthropology from UCT, and took up a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, USA. I have worked in diverse and creative ways with children outside of academic life and have conducted longitudinal ethnographic research with children from New Crossroads and with children and young people from Okhahlamba, KwaZulu-Natal, who had all lost one or both parents through AIDS. I am able to communicate in isiZulu and speak a little isiXhosa and Setswana.

What will you be working on at the CI?
I have worked across various teams in the Institute. So far I have assisted in planning, hosting and writing a paper for the recent CI-hosted international seminar on theorising children's participation. Currently I am writing a literature review on the theme of "Towards Places for Children". I have initiated a series of themed seminars to stimulate debate amongst researchers and to create links with UCT and other university academics. I have taught two Masters courses in the UCT Department of Social Anthropology. Other research proposals will emerge towards the end of the year.

What is your wish for South Africa's children?
That state bodies and society in general take concerns articulated by children seriously. Greater attention needs to be paid to understanding the details of children's lives, as well as their own views about society. Much research undertaken with children 'infantilises' their abilities and understandings. Rigorous research can go some way in amending these shortcomings.


 

 

 
     

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