South Africa

Karin van Niekerk

Karin van Niekerk_web.jpg

Karin is studying a doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences – Assistive Technology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She works as an occupational therapist providing individual therapy to children and group therapy to their parents. She conducts life skills group therapy in Pretoria Central Prison to juvenile offenders and female adult inmates.

She is also involved with Investigating the barriers that contribute to the under-utilization of assistive technology (AT) by children who have little or no speech. Over and above that she volunteers to assist children with learning difficulties, teaches and mentors Master’s students.

As part of her future plans, Karen plans to become an independent researcher and continue her research to develop this field in South Africa, sharing knowledge through national and international conference presentations, peer-reviewed journal publications, and teaching. She will also continue to address the under-utilization of AT by young children in South Africa

Hlengiwe Patricia Ndhlovu

Hlengiwe P Ndhlovu_WEB.jpg

Hlengiwe is a South African national studying her Doctorate in Sociology at the University of Witwatersrand. Hlengiwe is the founder of the Reading for Tomorrow project, which fosters a culture of reading for pleasure, and promotes African literature, in primary and high school children. She was awarded the 2017 Canon Collins Trust Social Impact Award which helped expand the library and the reach of the reading clubs. She initiated Operation Buyela ‘Eskolweni (Go Back to School) with Duncan Village Youth Centre, where university students encourage young women and recent high school graduates who are doing unskilled work to get a higher education.

Hlengiwe personally recruits young women, encouraging them to either renew efforts to matriculate from high school or helps them with applications for college admission and seeking funding.

As part of her career plans, Hlengiwe plans to teach in a tertiary level institution, continue community work, including Reading for Tomorrow, with school students.