Socio-economic and social capital assessment of Avian Park residents, Worcester
At the beginning of every academic year, the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology (hereafter Department), Stellenbosch University, takes Honours students on a research fieldtrip. The rationale is based on the need to provide Honours students with an in-service learning opportunity that entails fieldwork in an environment where their research efforts could make a contribution to community development. There is thus a dual objective: firstly, in-service learning through applied research using different research methodologies and secondly, the generation of new knowledge that could benefit community initiatives of various stakeholders. There is an additional third objective, namely to train community members in fieldwork skills in order for them to partake in similar studies. For 2011 Worcester and more specifically Avian Park (ward 13) was chosen as the research site. This site was selected partly because Stellenbosch University already has a community health project running in this area and there was both an interest and need for collaboration from the side of the Ukwanda Rural Clinical School in Worcester. Other University stakeholders included (in alphabetical order): Family Medicine, Human Nutrition, Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech, Language and Hearing therapy, Rehabilitation and Social Work. These stakeholders desired information about the community and some wanted to use the community volunteers trained by the Department for future research projects/interventions in the community.