Summer School welcomes local NPOs, NGOs to annual showcase

17 January 2024 | Story Niémah Davids. Photo Ruairi Abrahams. Read time 4 min.
Summer School 2024 includes a special exhibition that showcases the work of local NPOs and NGOs.
Summer School 2024 includes a special exhibition that showcases the work of local NPOs and NGOs.

As part of its centenary celebrations, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Summer School has created a special exhibition space in honour of several non-profit organisations (NPO) and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to showcase their work and indelible contribution to the people of the Mother City.

What this means is that Summer School participants will for the first time in the programme’s history have the opportunity to connect with local NPOs and NGOs, get a sense of their work in communities in and around Cape Town, ask pressing questions, and, where possible, make their own contributions via donations or volunteer programmes. The initiative reinforces the university’s commitment to transformation and social responsiveness.

Summer School is the flagship programme of UCT’s Centre for Extra Mural Studies (EMS) and is the largest public education programme on the continent, committed to lifelong learning and sharing its rich repository of research and knowledge with its audience.

“The exhibition is a new initiative and forms part of our ongoing commitment to bringing Summer School to the broader Cape Town community,” said Dr Medeé Rall, the director of EMS. 

A showcase of work

Dr Rall said several NPOs and NGOs, including the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Palliative Care Unit, Narcotics Anonymous and Gun Free South Africa have been invited to exhibit on different days. Some organisations are directly affiliated to UCT and others are completely independent. Only selected organisations whose work closely aligns with the 2024 lecture programme were invited to the showcase. 

The exhibition is intended to provide NPOs and NGOs with added exposure while educating Summer School participants on their work, which serves some of the most vulnerable communities in Cape Town.


“The prime objective of this initiative is education and not fundraising.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our exhibitors, and we encourage them to provide delegates with as much information about their organisations, as well as their needs and services. The prime objective of this initiative is education and not fundraising. But for those who are by the financial means and willing to donate, their doors are always wide open,” Rall said.

Paying it forward

In addition to the exhibition, Exclusive Books – the country’s leading book retailer – will also host a bookstand for the duration of the programme, and a percentage of all sales will be donated to the Summer School programme. Delegates will also have an opportunity to purchase books for direct donation to local schools in need of reading material.

“There are many schools in the Cape in need of good, quality reading material. Therefore, when the opportunity to partner with Exclusive Books came our way, we grabbed it with both hands, because it means that in partnership with our audience, we can make a meaningful contribution to places of learning where so many children are in need,” she said.

Both initiatives have been introduced for the first time this year and depending on its success, Rall said they might become standard features during Summer School in the future.

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