NMMU experts help Care Centre

2016-07-06 06:00
From left, are Oliver O’Loughlin, chairperson of Missionvale Ireland, Sister Ethel Normoyle and Vice-Chancellor Derrick Swartz of NMMU at the Missionvale Care Centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

From left, are Oliver O’Loughlin, chairperson of Missionvale Ireland, Sister Ethel Normoyle and Vice-Chancellor Derrick Swartz of NMMU at the Missionvale Care Centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) has committed to supporting the Missionvale Care Centre by offering their different fields of expertise to create a sustainable future for the centre.

The Centre was started from humble beginnings by Irish nun Sister Ethel Normoyle almost three decades ago, and now offers some 25 000 people in the community access to health, well-being and educational services.

“Our University pledges its full cooperation and support in taking the Centre to the next level. We’d like to take the University on the hill (down) to the valley among the people,” NMMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Derrick Swartz shared at the strategic plan launch for the Centre last week.

The University’s Missionvale Campus overlooks the Centre and the surrounding community, who live mostly in self-built homes that lack basic amenities.

The Centre’s plan to create a sustainable community through capacity building includes efforts to harness new resources and forge partnerships with agencies, donors and specialists in the field of education, youth and community development, healthcare and entrepreneurship.

NMMU has volunteered to be one of these partners and has offered its expertise – and energy – in the fields of education, agriculture, social development, health sciences and ICT in a formal Memorandum of Agreement (MoU).

Apart from sharing knowledge and expertise for at least the next five years, student learning and volunteerism have been included as part of the agreement.

Students will be given opportunities to learn and develop skills as part of their curriculum.

NMMU will, amongst others, offer business development support for the Crafters Centre; identify and implement micro enterprises in the community and offer advice on the Centre’s business processes and operations.

NMMU will also seek to offer extra-curricular activities for the Centre’s primary school children and broader community through a variety of options including learning and homework support, teacher training and development.

Support ranging from counselling and guidance for primary school children through to career guidance and training for Life Orientation teachers will also being offered.

The range of support from the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences will include upskilling and training for community health practitioners, manpower support for clinic activities, needs determination and intervention opportunities in the broader Missionvale community; nutrition education and assessment.

The Human Movement Science students will be able to offer coaching and physical activities and introduce their PasSPORT to Health project, and the Emergency Medical Care students, first aid training.

The Agricultural students will be able to assist the MCC with their community food garden and other community food gardens in the area.

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