SHAWCO, the Students Health and Welfare Centres Organisation, is a student-run, non-profit community outreach organisation based at UCT. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of individuals in the developing communities in the Cape metropolitan area.
It is divided into two main service sectors: SHAWCO Health and SHAWCO Education.
SHAWCO Health relies on volunteer doctors, medical and allied health science students in all years of study to deliver primary health care in under-resourced communities. It co-ordinates six clinics either from permanent health facilities or from SHAWCO Health's three, fully-equipped mobile clinics. These clinics often serve as the only port-of-call for community members who work during the day, or who cannot make the trip to the neighbouring day hospital.
SHAWCO Education has over 10 student projects running in four community centres, Khayelitsha, Kensington, Manenberg and Nyanga, schools and childrenâ€™s homes. Volunteers are transported to and from the centres where they engage with learners with structured curriculum. Junior projects focus on literacy and numeracy whereas intermediate and senior projects focus on English, Maths, Physical Science and Life Skills.