We are excited to announce that Yibanathi Mabunda has been awarded the Prof Tessa Hochfeld Memorial Bursary. Yibanathi is the second recipient of the bursary and will begin the MPhil in Social Policy and Development this year.
Her interest in the MPhil course aligns with her interest in children, their wellbeing and social justice. She aims to make meaningful contributions in policy formulation and gain skills and knowledge required as a social worker to promote social change in South African societies and beyond. She says “I believe that if we help address challenges that children face at a young age, they are bound to be better functioning adults. I think addressing social injustice issues for children will help build better societies and it will enhance their chances of reaching their full potential. It will promote employability, they will lead stable lives and that will also be beneficial to the country’s future, it’s social and economic development.”
Yibanathi is a qualified Social Worker, having completed a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Witwatersrand. While completing her studies she completed several practical sessions offering counselling to individuals and families. She also gained experience working with groups as a facilitator and supporting community work projects. Although Yibanathi’s main interest as a social worker lies in social justice, she is keenly aware of the inequalities in terms of gender which are embedded in the cultures of patriarchy and apartheid systems. Yibanathi says “I have a deep belief that gender and social injustices are connected. It is up to people like me as a social worker and other agents of social change to advocate and act as catalysts to combat issues around both gender and social justice.”
Yibanathi was selected as the next bursary recipient because of her keen passion for social justice, which upholds the work and values of our late friend and colleague Prof Tessa Hochfeld.