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The South Africa-Washington International Program is inspiring, developing and supporting young South Africans to lead 1) social and economic transformation for social justice and nation building, 2) deepening of democracy and 3) formation of our nation.

Leadership Development

A six month leadership curriculum both in South Africa and Washington, DC,  supplemented by ongoing alumni opportunities.

Community Engagement

A core element of SAWIP, expressed through individual and team projects, both in South Africa and
Washington DC.

Professional Exposure

Real world experience provided through six week work exposure in prestigious environments in Washington, DC.

Latest Team Blog Entries

The importance of protecting the children in your life

Children are told to look both ways before they cross the street. They are told not to play with fire or fly kites near power lines. But does anyone ever take the time to tell children that their body is their own and that it is beautiful, just the way it is? Telling them to say no when someone to picks them up and they feel uncomfortable, telling them not to let anyone – not even family members or good friends – touch their private parts and surrounding them with positive influences and examples regarding self- and body-image is just as important. If you’re not armoring the children in your life against the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse, specifically online sexual exploitation, you fall squarely into the overwhelming majority of adults who neglect to do the same. I have two one-year-old nieces and while interning at the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children for the past six weeks, I was reminded of the fact that adults, should do everything they can to make sure children are safe, healthy and happy. I think there are two ways in which adults are neglecting doing this – they aren’t aware enough of the risk sexual abuse, especially online sexual abuse, and they don’t surround children with positive and realistic influences regarding body and self-image. The responsibility for empowering children against sexual abuse begins with their caregivers. And I think the main reason for adults not empowering children against it is quite embarrassing. There is a veil of embarrassment that covers the subject of sexuality. Caregivers have a mental block preventing them... read more


As the Washington leg of our SAWIP journey draws to an end, mixed emotions overwhelm me and my mind is flooded with many thoughts for the future and my role as a leader. As I look back at this 6 week journey, I’m excited to see how much I’ve grown and how much my life has changed in this small timeframe. On the one hand I find myself saddened by having to leave the amazing family I’ve lived with here, the colleagues, the new friends, the experience of working with the amazing professionals at the IFC and the learnings I’ve gotten throughout the curriculum sessions – saddened because each has played a role in facilitating my growth experience and have left me hungry for more growth. On the other hand I’m also very excited to go back home – I look forward to putting the lessons I’ve learnt to action. I look forward to building a new vision and planning for the future based on new learnings. What lessons do I take home with me? I’ve learnt that the journey of self-discovery is greatly facilitated by a physical move to a different geographical location. I’ve learnt that working in a team of diverse people requires you to have the ability to be humble, forgive, empathize and also be bold. I’ve learnt that a team of leaders don’t always have to agree but need to each keep their eyes on the overarching goal because that’s the one thing they’ll always have in common. I’ve learnt that working collectively across the globe on issues that may not affect one directly has... read more

The Pursuit of Stillness…

When whirlwinds blow
And questions abound
When the voices in your mind grow loud
When the to do’s and must do’s are exhaustively high
And energy is running low
It’s time young leader, to find your center
The call to lead shall always remain
Ground yourself young leader
Find your stillness this day
– Mauricia

read more

Comrade , Confidant or Constiuent

Over the past couple of weeks I have learnt that not everyone who is part of your life has the purest of intentions. I have confronted what it means to have a Comrade, Confidant or a Constituent. In many instances we imagine that most relationships we encounter will turn into friendships or a bond that is beyond the workplace or even beyond a mutual platform you share. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. I would like to start off my reflections by quoting Bishop TD Jakes. What do the following mean? Comrade: “These people are not for you, nor are they for what you are for – they are against what you are against.  The comrades will make strange bedfellows. This will cause people to come together who are not for you, not for what you are for, but they are against what you are against.  They will team up with you to help fight a greater enemy – but don’t be confused by their association.  They will only be with you until the victory is accomplished.  These people are like scaffoldings.   They come into your life to fulfill a purpose, but when the purpose is completed, the scaffolding is removed.  Don’t be upset when the scaffolding is removed because the building always remains.” Constituents: – “they are not into you.  They are into what you are for.  They are for what you are for.  They are your constituents.  As long as you are for what they are for, they will walk with you, work with you and labor with you – but never think they are for... read more

The Most Important Thing

United Nations Headquarters New York – Photo Exhibition The Most Important Thing by Brian Sokol   In the spirit on Mandela day, I decided to put together this photo essay of photos I took at the Brian Sokol photo exhibition at the UN headquarters. Worldwide, 19.5 million people have been forced to flee from their homes and 1.33 million vulnerable refugees need resettlement by the end of 2017.* “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” Nelson Mandela *Amnesty... read more

SAWIP needs your support

The South Africa-Washington International Program is helping to inspire, prepare and support South African youth to lead a sustainable democracy with a peaceful and prosperous future for all its citizens. Support our cause by donating with our simple online tool:

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