Written by Ivanka Bloom.
On our first Sunday in South Africa, we had a leisurely start in the morning. The focus of this day lay on developing more in-depth background knowledge of each other’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through interactive workshops which had been carefully prepared in small subgroups. For the workshops we took refuge in the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Kirstenbosch, a main tourist attraction in Cape Town, is based at the foot of Table Mountain and filled with colourful flowers, a few squeaking guineafowls and a wide view over the suburbs of Cape Town. It was therefore no surprise that many cameras clicked away at the sight of the shadow of Table Mountain so that it took a little longer than expected to walk up to our meeting point.
Sprawled in the sun that some of us had missed for most of the summer in Europe, we explained some of the MDGs through several creative workshops. At first we were shortly introduced into MDG7 on environmental sustainability. After that, the second subgroup provided us with an overview of all goals to fill-up any outstanding knowledge gaps. The third group on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger (MDG1) opened up interesting discussions on the difference between absolute and relative poverty, the difficulty of reaching out of poverty, the causes and consequences of the poverty gap and the usefulness of development aid. The final workshop of the day on maternal health and child mortality (MDG 4 and 5), opened up our eyes on the hard facts of the problems that South Africa faces with regards to these MDGs.
The coming days will be filled with workshops on the remaining MDGs and our first visits out of the westernized part of Cape Town and into the townships.
More material from the cameras: