April and May 2020

Achievements at University and key learnings

During the first few weeks of the year I wasn’t quite sure if I would be able to study,  seeing that I still owed the university 25% of my course fees of the previous year which was about R11000.
I was also working at an NGO who initially suggested that they would assist me with paying off my fees that I still owed. Even though I wanted to focus on studying, I started to accept that the only way I was going to be able to pay off my debt was to work for the year, which is what I did until I heard about Kulu Manzi, a German Foundation, who offered me the opportunity to not only study, but also to be able to work closely with them.

Benefit of the cooperation with Kulu Manzi

My upward curve in my home circumstances also coincided with my involvement with Kulu Manzi and they have really helped me in not only clearing my debt and helping me study for the year, but also in helping me analyse myself, to always look at ways in which I can improve myself. It has also opened the door to the opportunity of creating friendships and lifelong partnerships.

Insights on the Corona crisis in Cape Town

During the start and even now during the pandemic, things aren’t great from a perspective of a country or nation, as schools and some work places are closed, as well as having to maintain a safe social distance from each other. Initially it was a bit strange to get to grips, as well as the mask wearing, however it has been the norm as it is not only our country but the entire world that is going through this pandemic. I would say that my biggest challenges was probably having to be 24/7 in the house with my brothers who are drug users, as the numbers in  domestic abuse increased, as a result of lockdown. Studying was a bit of a challenge, not only from a financial viewpoint but also from a circumstantial viewpoint. Because things are not so great at home, I would prefer staying outdoors and just coming home when I really needed to be, when I had to use the bathroom, to eat and to sleep. It however has never  affected my academic capabilities as that is something I won’t allow and something I pride myself so much on.

The corona virus also had its positive effects as well, as it has slowed down the world in order for us to find our selves again, to reignite the broken bonds of families and to analyse yourself in terms of where you finding yourself in life and where you would like to go. It has also helped me with mending broken relationships with friends, family and just people at large as well as to give working opportunities that perhaps if things were normal never would have existed.

Involvement in social projects

I have been involved in a few social projects. I was involved at Oasis, assisting in the homeless world cup league as well as to help homeless people find themselves again.I have also been involved in research projects, on a voluntary basis which I have enjoyed tremendously, with Professors Marion Keim and Christo De Coning on the existance of international sport and development policies. I was also busy just helping people in my community, especially the elderly in assisting them with going to buy their groceries, and just to basically assist them with anything that they would need help would.

My wishes for future cooperation with Kulu Manzi

Regarding the upcoming months with Kulu Manzi, I would like to grow as I have said, but also to assist each other through various projects and hopefully to have student exchange programs to have the chance to experience learning from a different culture and way of thinking. I would like to build on my relationship with Kulu Manzi and hopefully be able to do research for them or in collaboration with them, and hopefully it’s something big that changes the sporting life.

I would like to see myself become the best version of myself through the help and also through my hard work, and dedication to give back to Kulu Manzi and to show them that I am so grateful for their help. I want them to witness through me that special things can still come from a dark place like Manenberg, and that there are so many people with potential, who do not have the support and structure to help them succeed and it’s something I am really thankful for

-Rusche Petersen.