Every morning I wake up, it feels so surreal to know that I am in Cape Town, South Africa. I am extremely blessed and grateful for this opportunity. In this past week, I’ve already learned so much and have been extremely inspired to make a difference in my own community back home. With our class lectures and discussions providing context to our internships about the townships, I am gaining a well-rounded perspective of urban economic development in Cape Town.
This inspiration is heightened with my experience from my internship with Philisia Abafazi Bethu (PAB), meaning “Heal Our Women”, an organization designed to empower women and develop youth. I’ve been able to hear stories from the founder, Lucinda, about her time building the organization in Lavender Hill township, which is no easy task — to say the very least. Lucinda exemplifies true passion and dedication to a cause and community.
Lavender Hill has roughly 86 thousand people and 3-5 people die a day with gang violence as the leading cause. Children don’t go to school and most women find themselves in domestic abuse households and/or on drugs. The worst of it all is that many live in inhabitable homes called informal settlements. This isn’t even the half of it. So the founder of PAB works to help women and children holistically develop and help those around them.
Thank you FLI for pouring into me during my time at UT to even be able to have the courage to apply to this program, and thus gain this exposure. In addition to the phenomenal mentorship, your scholarship has also played a major role, financially, in getting me here to Cape Town. I’m forever grateful.