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My JETStreaming experience: Virginia Mashiane

“How I have been empowered to develop my capacity as a researcher during my JETStreaming experience.”

My experience as a JETStreamer has been empowering, but also deeply challenging. The programme pushes one out of their comfort zone, It is important to be able to adapt and trust the process to get the most out of the programme. Here’s my journey in a nutshell:

While the primary focus of my research pursuits thus far have been in the domain of collective memory, archiving and meaning-making processes; I am excited to explore the shape that research takes in the education space. I believe that research is one of many vehicles to advance social transformation and to craft more imaginative futures. This is more so in the education space, where there are major access, quality and equity gaps, which manifest in a raced, classed and gendered manner.

My first work placement was with BRIDGE Innovation, where I was involved in the Collaborative ECD Network (CECDN) nationwide consultation project. During this time, I had the pleasure of representing BRIDGE at two provincial dialogues, Free State and Eastern Cape respectively. Secondly, I was placed at Molteno: Language and Literacy Institute, where I am working on the Anglo America South African Education Project, and have been exposed to project implementation.

One of my biggest accomplishments during my JETStreaming experience, was the growth I gained, the programme offers an infinite space and a platform for learning. I believe I have the capacity to become a social change agent in the near future. I am currently still growing in my understanding of the Education Sector. However, I have enjoyed my time in the programme so far and hope to make the best of the remaining time.

What made this programme so successful was the flow of communication and collaboration between the 9 other JETStreamers as we were able to bounce off experiences from each other. My advice to future JETStreamers would be to show up earnestly, be open to learning, but also bring yourself forward and contribute. Everybody has a unique and valuable contribution to make, don’t hold back.

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