SAWIP celebrated its Decennial Anniversary with a Reception event on 1 November at the Country Club, Johannesburg. In an effort to capture the rich history of the organisation, a classic photo exhibition depicting all ten Teams lined the entrance to the venue, and the multiple versions of SAWIP’s story were told through a panel conversation with Michael Currin, Benedict Phiri (the founding participants on the program) and Paul Costello (Founder of the Washington Ireland Program which SAWIP was initially modeled on).

The Chairman of our board, Dr Renosi Mokate, presented SAWIP’s Leadership and Service Award to Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke for his outstanding leadership and commitment to a just South Africa for all. Justice Moseneke’s remarkable career has been framed by his deep regard for our constitution, which he was part of drafting. He has left an indelible mark on our society through his impact on land restitution and the fight against corruption, among many examples. Now retired, he is currently leading the alternative dispute process that seeks justice for those affected by the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

In his remarks, Justice Moseneke reiterated the need for youth to take up the responsibility of leadership, to work with integrity and to not allow themselves to be dissuaded by their elders. And so it was only fitting that we recognise SAWIP’s Alumni alongside this Leadership and Service recognition of Justice Moseneke. SAWIP presented awards to four Alumni who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to Citizenship (Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and Rekgotsofetse Chikane), Community Development (Banele Lukhele) and leadership within SAWIP (Cheri-Leigh Erasmus).

Over the last decade, SAWIP has seen many accomplishments in reaching for its noble vision of a South Africa with quality, servant leaders and active citizens who serve the country with humility and integrity. While the reception event sought to celebrate SAWIP’s growth and successes in this regard, we also shared a vision for the future, focused on a larger community impact and greater emphasis on the development of thought leaders committed to service, active citizenship and the deepening of South Africa’s democracy.

In this particular year, we have effected substantial advancements to the Program itself, with revisions to our curriculum, the addition of a fifth university partner (the University of Johannesburg) to the fold, and the preferment of Shannon Bernhardt to a Program Director role. Our recently appointed Executive Director in South Africa, Sibongile Khumalo, delivered words of our recommitment to SAWIP’s vision, which were backed by Board Director, Brian Currin’s appeal to corporate partners and individuals to inject financial support in order to carry SAWIP into the next decade.

This event was generously supported by long-standing Friend and former Board Member, Harry Calver, and well attended by Alumni, University Partners, Funders, as well as old and new Friends of SAWIP. We invite you to also support SAWIP by making a donation to our cause, and being part of inspiring and developing a new generation of South African leaders!