Journal of Consumer Sciences

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An integrated community engagement initiative in the rural town of Darling, South Africa

RM Albertyn, MJ Botha, ME van der Merwe, A le Roux, I-M Coetzee


Those in the academic environment often experience pressure regarding performing their multiple roles of teaching, research and community engagement. This article reports on an initiative in the specialization field of Adult Education and could serve as an example of a planned integrated approach to community engagement. The initiative was implemented in the rural community of Darling in the Western Cape Province of South Africa who experience challenges associated with poverty and unemployment. The community engagement initiative was conducted over a period of seven years and findings from research conducted by two postgraduate students are reported briefly in this article as examples. The findings suggest that community engagement can contribute to various scholarships in academics while benefits are evident for student learning and accountability in the community. This approach could streamline and facilitate academics’ performing of their various roles in academe.

AJOL African Journals Online