Die aard van kommunikasie in 'n sosiale betrokkenheidsprogram van die Studente–Jool–Gemeenskapsdiens (SJGD) : die Pick a leader– leierskapontwikkelingsprojek
Boshoff, Johanna Frederika Elizabeth
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The North-West University (NWU) is an example of an organization that has a social responsibity towards the community and the environment within which it finds itself (Van Schalkwyk, 2013). One of the social responsibility programmes of the NWU-Pukke is known as the Students’ Rag Community Service (SRCS). The SRCS is a registered NPO (non-profit organization) which is run by the students of the NWU Potchefstroom Campus and which has been in existence since 1992 in its present form. In this study it is argued that the SRCS developmental projects could be offered in a more effective and sustainable manner by implementing the basic principles of the participatory approach, viz. Participation, dialogue, empowerment and cultural identity in order to support the local communities in their developmental processes. For the present study the focus was solely on one of the SRCS projects, the Pick a leader-leadership development project. This project has the aim of providing in the developmental needs of ten to fifteen Grade 11 learners in three schools in the North West Province (Potchefstrom and the surrounding communities in Ikageng). Thus project participants (learners) are instructed in basic skills about starting their own businesses (entrepreneurship); how to develop their leadership skills and to apply these skills, and how to be able to use basic life skills in their everyday lives. Various theoreticians have explained how NPO’s without participatory communication are seldom successful in terms of developmental initiatives. The learners can only develop if the relevant roleplayers of the project take ownership of the project by also being able to communicate in a participatory manner about their specific needs with both the NPO and the project volunteers. The NWU-Pukke volunteers, who manage this particular project, therefore have the responsibility to communicate in a participatory manner with the relevant learners, their teachers and then also the different principals to make the project succeed and to contribute to the realization of the developmental needs of the learners. The general research aim of the study had been to determine the nature of the communication among interest groups in the Pick a leader-leadership development programme of the SRCS. Qualitiative research methods, viz. Semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews and participant observation, were used in this study for purposes of making making a thorough investigation into the nature of the communication among those involved in the Pick a leader leadership development programme. The purpose of this was to determine perspectives about the project held by the persons involved (but especially those of the learners) and to interpret these in line with the normative theoretical principles of the participatory approach to developmental communication. It was ultimately found that the communication in the Pick a leader-leadership development programme was mostly one-way.
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