In the spirit of facilitating the transfer of knowledge via sustainable networks, we focus on African Sunrise Volunteers this week who are an agency in Cape Town making it so much easier for students to volunteer in South Africa. The agency is based in Cape Town and busy almost all of the time placing a large number of volunteers and interns in various projects in the area. African Sunrise have close ties with several Cape Town relief projects and community upliftment initiatives. The business is headed by Carina Roper who has a passion for helping underprivileged, abused, disadvantaged and battered people uplift themselves. This passion for helping others was the basis for her founding African Sunrise. The company specializes in assisting mainly European and American
students or graduates finding positions in charity projects in the Cape Town area, where they can put their specific skills and abilities to the test. Carina’s partner is a Swede who now spends most of her time in South Africa, but when she is back home in Sweden she spends a great deal of time promoting African Sunrise and creating an awareness among young Swedish people of how advantaged they are and how much they could be of use should they decide to take up an intern position in South Africa or become a volunteer in South Africa.
As a result a large number of the volunteers and interns that are placed by the agency are of a Swedish nationality. For those taking up an intern position, the opportunity to share their practical knowledge from their university studies is fantastic.
The agency is well known for it’s ability to place interns projects and initiatives that best utilize their specific field of study or knowledge. This is a unique situation where they are able to gain real life skills and experience in their field of study as well as benefiting the charity or project they are working with a great deal.
In years gone by it was popular for students to take a year off after completing their university degree or studies. This is quite understandable considering that they would have spent the last 12 to 15 years in learning institutions. The problem with this kind of blase gap year plan is that many student would not reap much benefit from the break. A large number would travel and end up in places like Ibiza, partying all night and sleeping all day. In many cases some of these students would return home with a drug or drinking problem and be disinterested in continuing on in their studies or profession. The concept of volunteering or interning in Africa or any other country that has a population in need of assistance, is a healthy way of spending time away from the learning institution and being of service to those in need. Most volunteers or interns that return from their experiences provided by African Sunrise volunteers, return home revitalized, grateful for their opportunity to have shared their knowledge and experience to help others through African Sunrise’s network of of organizations.
For many of the interns and volunteers the opportunity serves as a means to solidify their commitment to their profession or motivates them to further their studies in the fields they have chosen.
Following on the great response to our last article, we decided to take a look at methods and networks whereby knowledge is shared and transferred, particularly in the treatment of addiction. Ixande is a drug rehab in South Africa, situated in the popular tourist destination and picturesque city of Cape Town. Ixande treats hundreds of Britons each year for alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, sex addiction and gambling addiction. There are several reasons why Ixande is so popular with overseas clients from Britain, Holland and several other countries. One of the more obvious reasons is that the cost of admission to a drug rehab in South Africa is far lower than other first world countries, whilst the standard of treatment is of the highest quality. Cape Town has become an increasing popular destination for those seeking recovery from addiction and is home to several leading addiction professionals and rehabs. The less obvious reason why so many Britons and other foreigners seek treatment in rehabs away from home is that quite often, medical professionals themselves develop drinking problems, addiction to prescription drugs and or illegal street drugs like cocaine and heroin. It is far more discreet for a medical professional to take a leave of absence and seek treatment in a foreign country than expose him or herself within their own local industry. The transfer of new methodology and approaches are made possible by organizations like the Addiction Technology Transfer Network (ATTC).
The addictions industry in South Africa and particularly Cape Town has some of the finest addictions specialists and pioneers in treating and developing new ways of approaching the problems that develop from longer term alcohol and drug addiction, as well as gambling addiction and sex addiction. By participating and sharing findings through a knowledge transfer network specialized for addiction specialists, new treatment methods and approaches are shared and put to the test more easily. Ixande has one of the most established alcohol rehabilitation centres in south africa, where they cater for alcoholics from all walks of life.
Ixande rehabilitation centre in Cape Town is a popular choice for many people seeking recovery from their addictive behaviors, largely due to their fantastic reputation, their team of dedicated professionals with years of experience in the addiction field and their care and dedication to each individual client and their specific needs. Ixande pays special attention to each of their clients, doing an extremely thorough intake when they are admitted. A dedicated counsellor is assigned to each specific client based on their specific needs. Although sex addicts, gambling addicts, codependents, drug addicts and alcohol addicts are all cared for at the same centre, the nature of the underlying causes of addiction are the same. The group therapy sessions which are held regularly each week allow for a very special kind of progress to be made
In the computer or IT industry, networks are continuously being built, enlarged and interconnected. The computer engineers will design a plan that sets out how they will link all the computer terminals in a building to each other, so that information can be easily transferred. The process involves connecting each terminal to routers and hubs with switches that control the connectivity of the information data flow. The computer engineers or network designers will probably connect some of the computers to the router wirelessly, whilst others will be plugged in with Ethernet cables. Eventually once the system is in place and the kinks have been ironed out, you could have 5 floor business office with over 300 computer terminals that are now able to share and communicate information back and forth instantly, with very little effort.
The World Wide Web is an exact replica of this example of an office networking system, but on a far greater scale. Now, every single computer in the world that is able to connect to the internet is able to communicate with each other. Primarily most internet users will use the web to access websites and webpages. If they know the exact web address or URL of the website they need to visit, they can simply type into their web browser using HTTP (hyper text transfer protocol). Most people use search engines like Google or Bing to find what they are looking for. These “search engines” are incredibly powerful systems accessible via their own websites. The person searching for information visits the search engine’s website and types in a few words related to what they are looking for. For example, “cheap Nike running shoes in Edinburgh”. In milliseconds, the search engine will access its database of records and attempt to present that person with the most accurate information that it believes they are looking for. How does the search engine know all this stuff ? Well, every day, the search engine sends out thousands of robots or spiders that crawl the web endlessly indexing the pages and that they find and reporting it all back to home base, where it is classified, categorized and stored for quick retrieval should somebody type in a search request that match any of those criteria. The technology behind these search giants is incredible. Today, just about any piece of information dating as far back in history that you could imagine is accessible with a few simple keystrokes. In some cases where the required knowledge is stored and sold as a book, there’s no need to go out to the library or book store, you can simply pay for it online and download it in seconds to be read on your digital device. There is absolutely no doubt about it, we are living in an age where the transfer of knowledge from one source to another is almost instantaneous. Not so long ago, it was considered “high tech” to attach a note to a carrier pigeon and hope it arrived at its destination, in order to send an important message.
These days entrepreneurs, independent researchers and enthusiasts are able to connect with each other via forums on the internet that are dedicated to their areas of interests. It’s possible that two people in completely different parts of the world are both trying develop something, solve a complex problem or simply fix a faulty appliance. Now they are able to find, connect and share information with each other extremely quickly without needing to ever meet each other.
KT Networks would like to become the leading source of information for people seeking knowledge they would not be able to find elsewhere. Our own team does a lot of research, but we still rely heavily on our readers and subscribers to reach out to us and share their own experiences with topics that we can all benefit from.
The transfer of knowledge doesn’t always need to be technical. For example Scotswood Retreat in Cape Town, a sober living house that deals with recovering addicts is an amazing source of inspiration for those who have lost hope of ever living a normal life again. Scotswood is conveniently nestled in the picturesque suburb of Constantia in Cape Town. The sober house concept came into being in the late 70’s as a means of providing people wishing to abstain from the use of alcohol a safe environment to live in. Sober houses follow strict rules, prohibiting any alcohol or drugs on the premises and encouraging residents to maintain their recovery and regularly attend 12 step meetings. The scourge of alcoholism and substance addiction is on the rise with literally hundreds of thousands of people suffering from dependency to alcohol and drugs. Some reach their rock bottom fast and are lucky enough to find recovery, whilst others may endure many years of suffering while undiagnosed and reliant on their drug of choice or alcohol to escape their feelings. The concept of the sober house has been found to be extremely effective in helping people find their feet and get back on track, without running the risk of temptation by being exposed to old triggers. Triggers can be friends, people, places, things, music…anything that’s like to remind them of a previous euphoric drug or alcohol related experiences. The Scotswood sober house in Cape town is managed in this same manner. The house is staffed by people that are knowledgeable and have experience in dealing with addiction.
The sober living house concept encourages residents to participate in house activities and the communal living environment makes it harder for people to isolate themselves from a support structure. Residents of sober houses often make friends for life whilst spending time there. There is something unique about the bonds that are forged between people who are facing and sharing the same difficulties. Scotswood has had outstanding reviews from past residents that stand testimony to just how essential this step was in their recovery process. The house is exquisitely furnished, is maintained and serviced by a cleaning staff three times per week, and provides dinner for its residents six out of seven nights per week. Visit the Scotswood sober house in Cape Town’s website here. The website lists all the requirements for admission – not just anybody can sign up and go and live there. This is a sober house, with specific requirements that need to be met by those making an application to stay there. In the interests of providing the best quality, Scotswood will only accommodate eight people at any given time.
It’s important for us at KTN to not just concentrate on sharing information and knowledge of a technical nature. Life is not all about ones and zeros, the human condition lends itself to many challenges and difficulties. It’s essential that new and fresh knowledge that can be beneficial to all people is shared and transferred between us. Networking is synonymous in the business world with making new contact and leads that will result in deals and profits. Networking doesn’t always have to be about self gratification.