Monday, March 24, 2014

"...this is an everybody business."

Today was a very full day for Mission 2017, beginning with transect walks through the informal settlements near Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and ending in the South End Museum with talks from those who witnessed the apartheid system first-hand and at personal cost. We also visited a school begun over fifty years ago with no water which became, through the efforts of many, a thriving community school of over 1000 elementary students with water. The principal's words to us: "You are the crafters of your future." "You cannot wait: these kids are not waiting," marked the moment as we stood in her shadow in the African late afternoon sun.

"So what IS an "everybody business" in the town of Port Elizabeth, or any other community with significant needs and limited resources?

Surely one part is to work in some of the ways we heard about today: to relate our science to the practical knowledge and wisdom of those around us; to always ask whose interests are being served; to develop our social competence, political will, and our abilities to engage with each other in ways that respect human dignity; to inspire all our desires to contribute to our families and our societies.

In the words of an NMMU colleague, "Let's act in solidarity and get on with the work."

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