The Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) turns 75 this July. In recognition of this milestone, the organisation has launched a fundraising drive to continue its efforts to promote the health and education of the community.
SHAWCO calls on the UCT community, and Cape Town at large, to make donations of R75, R750, R7 500, R750 000, or more.
The goal of the drive, which will continue until 31 December 2018, is to raise R75 million, according to SHAWCO director Gavin Joachims.
Founded in July 1945 by UCT medical student Andrew Kinnear, SHAWCO began with a single primary healthcare clinic.
With a vision to promote an informed, healthy and thriving community, SHAWCO now leads health, education and social entrepreneurship initiatives through two main service sectors: SHAWCO Education and SHAWCO Health. This year the former boasts 1 228 registered student volunteers, and the latter 897.
SHAWCO Health currently provides evening and weekend mobile clinics to 14 sites in the Cape Town Metropole. As part of their rural health outreach, SHAWCO takes health students into rural parts of both the Western and Eastern Cape, where they provide primary healthcare and health promotion activities.
SHAWCO Health also assists in disaster relief, women’s healthcare (at the Scalabrini Centre), as well as free HIV and AIDS screenings, Pap smears and rehabilitation for addicts.
SHAWCO Education’s initiatives include after-school homework assistance, and structured learning programmes for 1 300 learners at 11 sites across the Cape Town metropole. Through LAWCO (Legal Welfare Community Organisation), which forms a part of the education wing, the youth are informed about their rights and access to legal services.
All funds raised in celebration of SHAWCO’s 75th anniversary will be ploughed back into these health and education initiatives.
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The Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) runs various health and education programmes. Approximately 2 000 UCT students are involved.
The community partnership and social entrepreneurship programmes, that address inequality, are managed by 32 full-time and 5 part-time professional staff.
Operating in the Western and Eastern Cape, the health programme provides primary healthcare to 5 000 adults and children (annually) close to their homes, with fully equipped mobile clinics.
The education programme gives academic support and homework assistance to 1 300 learners weekly with structured education projects that help improve the academic ability of learners.