Our Ulwazi Team
A varied bunch of people, each bringing his or her own passion, personality, talents and background to the programme – that is our Ulwazi Team. Despite people coming and going all the time, we have a solid core of committed people ensuring continuity and stability and a group of enthusiastic fieldworkers who, despite their own limitations and problems are loyal to the cause.
Betsie, the project leader, is the senior systems librarian of the public library consortium of the City of Durban. She cracks the whip and sees that the programme’s vision is never compromised. Co-ordinating every aspect of the programme, all roads to Rome lead through her, no kidding. But she also gets to choose the new projects and gets to meet wonderfully interesting people, what fun that is.
Niall is our digital manager and web editor. Often he finds himself in a much extended support role, helping in all manner with copywriting and audiovisual media support. A true handyman he is when damage control has to be done, whether on equipment or the web – a real Mr Fixit. His constant stream of bright new ideas helps to keep the programme rolling along.
Mabusi is our content-manager. Working in the NGO sector, she has developed a wealth of online and research skills and uses these to improve the articles in our Community Memory. Mabusi has quickly become a dab hand at MediaWiki and provides technical support to our volunteer field-workers.
The fieldworkers, who are one of the most important cogs in this machine, come from all over the place, that is, within the boundaries of the eThekwini Metroplitan area. They collect the stories and all those juicy bits that make the website so unique and interesting; they also get to post them online themselves. Coming mostly from the peri-urban and rural environments surrounding the city, some of them travel up to sixty kilometers over difficult terrain to get to the programme office, what sacrifice that is for volunteer work. They are our eyes and our ears in the local community and they bring a wealth of talents and community knowledge to the programme; dedication is the name of this game.
And then we get to the back room boys: the editorial and administrative assistants. We keep them hidden because if someone else sees how useful they are they will surely be headhunted or just hijacked. They keep the work in progress, in the true sense; no day goes by without their indispensable input to produce an attractive product.