The increasing rate of unemployment in South Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great strain on the economy. In light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of an employment stimulus initiative early in 2020, the government initiated the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) which seeks to alleviate poverty by providing young people with the opportunity to gain work experience. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 800 000 job opportunities occurred over a span of four years – with R13 billion committed in the first year and over R100 billion committed to employment opportunities, by the government, for the following three years.
In 2020, the Presidency and Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, along with the National Arts Council, partnered with Iziko Museums of South Africa to create a two-month Public Arts Programme to promote the significance of national symbols and to create national pride, as well as raise awareness around gender-based violence and COVID-19. This programme takes place between 7 December 2020 and 8 February 2021. To support the diversity of our nation, the interns of this programme come from a variety of fields, including digital technology, photography, videography, public administration, public relations and project management.
“At Iziko Museums of South Africa, we are thrilled to have interns as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme join us for this two-month period, and sincerely hope they find their time with us fruitful. At an incredibly challenging crossroads in South African and global history – this programme seeks to provide opportunity for youth in our communities, all the while promoting the significance of museums within a contemporary context. In learning about the many facets behind running a museum – such as collections, education and public relations – the PESP interns will gain an invaluable insight into the importance of museums, and acquire life-long skills that they’ll take with them into their respective careers in the South African creative and cultural sectors. We wish all our PESP interns well as they embark on their journey with Iziko!”, says Ms Rooksana Omar, CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa.
In support of this programme, Iziko Museums of South Africa has sent these interns to three of their departments – Advancement, Education and Collections – to gain knowledge, experience and apt skills. Interns of the Advancement Department get technical behind the scenes of Iziko’s social media pages in order to share the great content happening in each museum. The Education Department provides interns with an opportunity to partake in the enriching school and outreach programmes for diverse school groups and audiences, which teaches art, natural history, social history education and Planetarium edu-tainment. Interns working in the Collections Department embrace the meaningful systems of cataloging and careful preservation of art and artefacts – after all, exhibits require nurturing as much as they do attention.
As spaces of heritage, museums offer a social conduit for educating people about societal issues, stimulating active citizenship, and acting as catalysts for social change. Now, more than ever before, museums can offer a sense of community; through our exhibitions, research, commemorative days and internship programmes – Iziko casts an eye on the resilience of the human spirit, and comes to be a space where we feel connected to each other. After all, Our Museums are Your Museums.
Issued by: Danica Barends
PESP Intern: Iziko Museums of South Africa
Telephone: 021 481 3891 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued on behalf of the office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa
About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)
Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Social History Centre and three collection-specific libraries in Cape Town. The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage. Iziko is a public entity and public benefit organization that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure. The organization allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope, Groot Constantia and Planetarium and Digital Dome). Visit our webpage at www.iziko.org.za, join our online community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IzikoMuseums), Instagram (@izikomuseumssa) or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.