SP Practice From My Corner of the World

Author: Louise Schweickerdt, SP Facilitator, Skills Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

My corner of the world is a country, renowned to be one of the most diverse and beautiful places on earth. It is also a country that is plagued by realities like planned power outages (load shedding), precarious internet, violence, strikes, horrific roads and a constant and intense awareness that safety, security and/or efficient health services are not a given.

Within circumstances that make it difficult to plan or execute ideas, our SP programme at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), on the outskirts of the township Ga-Rankuwa, has managed, not only to survive, it has been steadily growing. Today our SP programme is recognised on the national as well as international level.

Our SPs are members from the “previously disadvantaged” community where obtaining a degree and/or finding work, is no guarantee. They live simply. Their transport is local taxis – yet they are never late and remain reliable. Being an SP is their livelihood. They execute their work enthusiastically and diligently and in doing so, they promote, not only themselves, but the programme as a whole. At SMU we have kept our pool of SPs small in order to ensure that our SPs can sustain themselves and their families.

Witnessing their personal growth and learning to understand and appreciate one another, across the scope of diverse cultures, has been a challenge and a humbling, very enriching experience. Our SP programme is a South African product that we can be proud of.

For more information on our center, you may email: [email protected]

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