70-year old Evangeline champions Local Response: Fair Share builds confidence

Evangeline** is now 70 years old, and still works in a voluntary capacity for a non-profit organisation in one of South Africa's biggest informal settlements.

She has much to be proud of. In 2002, Evangeline - in her sixties - was the first student to pass Fair Share's Certificate in Economic Development (CED) course with distinction. Prior to that, she says the "University of the Community" was her learning institution.

In 2002, Evangeline reached a point when she realised that she needed more organized education to support her civil society work. All the modules of the CED course made sense to her, as they offered a way to approach development work in a holistic way.

Fair Share's CED Communication module taught her the importance of networking, an important component for her organisation that had formerly worked in isolation, and the skills for lobbying. These proved very useful when the citizens in Evangeline's community had had enough of the lack of provision of basic services, embarking on a petition signature campaign to force local government to interact with the community.

Evangeline had come to know her rights as a citizen, giving her the courage to communicate with the role-players in local government. "The basis for the CED course is the interaction between people and the contextualisation through discussions. This is invaluable. I had never really interacted with official from local government before attending the course", she says, "but when I understood that local government has the responsibility for improving the lives of the people, I realised my own responsiblity as a citizen to challenge those in positions of authority."

** Not her real name

* This story is based on excerpts from Fair Share's 2009 Evaluation Report: The Relevance of the Certificate in Economic Development. This report,along with other stories from Fair Share's work can be found at www.fairshare.uwc.ac.za It is shared here as an outcome of a partnership between The Constellation and Cordaid to capture good practise and experience from Cordaid's South African partners. For the full Fair Share partner profile and reflections on video, see https://aidscompetence.ning.com/group/cordaidpartnerssouthafrica *

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Comment by Jean-Louis Lamboray on July 1, 2010 at 12:21pm
Many thanks for Evangeline's story! Please convey my best! JL

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