South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy
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Living with South African families is one of the most important and meaningful aspects of the program. In the homestays, students learn more about the issues facing Zulu South Africans and develop relationships across lines of nation, class, and/or ethnicity. Students consider the need for health interventions for the majority of South Africans who cannot afford private health care and also consider the issue of health care accessibility and acceptability.
The main homestay is a five-week stay with Zulu-speaking families in or close to the township of Cato Manor, near Durban, and in sight of the University of KwaZulu Natal. Families have been hosting SIT students in this community for nearly 10 years and take pride in ensuring students are safe and welcome. In four weeks, students have time to establish relationships of trust and learn the joys and challenges of living in an impoverished community firsthand.
Students also experience shorter (three-night) homestays in rural areas including in Impendle, where students stay in pairs in rural dwellings, and in Amatikulu, close to the town of Gingindhlovu, where students live with community health workers in an area where there is no water-on-tap. The most picturesque site is at Umthwalume, near Hibberdene on the South Coast. Cattle graze on the slopes near the Indian Ocean, and students experience the realities associated with high unemployment in an area where chiefs (Indunas) still hold sway over the clan.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels, private homes, or small hotels.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: South Africa, Durban
Language Study: Zulu
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