Dinah Ngwenya is a registered Educational Psychologist with the Health Profession Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She has worked as an educator where she held leadership positions including the head of the department for Life Skills. Aside from her primary role during those years of teaching, she took the opportunity to ensure every child under her tutelage receives appropriate counselling when needed. As a chief education specialist with the Gauteng North District, a position she held for six years, she facilitated a healthy nutrition project conducted in four primary schools in Bronkhorstspruit area. She was furthermore involved in career guidance in the Cell C project of taking a girl child to a workplace. Presently, she is involved on a part-time basis with the University of South Africa.
Mirriam Makopo is currently a lecturer at the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences, University of South Africa, specialising with Clothing and Textiles modules. Her interests are in clothing design, clothing construction, product development and sustainability of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) that provide custom-made clothing. She holds a Master’s degree in Consumer Science from the University of Pretoria, with specialisation in Clothing Management. Her research focuses on the sustainability of South African clothing SMMEs. She has over 20 years’ experience of working at different levels of education; as a high school teacher, clothing and textiles technical assistant and a university lecturer. For a brief period, she was engaged with two of South African clothing retailers. On a personal platform, she occasionally makes custom-made clothing at the request for selected clients. As part of academic duties, she is constantly involved in community engagement projects where specific skills are imparted to community members (more especially the disadvantaged members). Her purpose and passion lie in teaching and learning, research and in helping people to acquire skills that will better their lives. She is the co-author of training manuals for the Short Learning Program (SLP) sewing workshops offered at the University of South Africa. Her ultimate goal is to continue to make an impact on people’s lives.
Edwinah Amondi Apunda holds a Doctoral degree in Consumer Science (Clothing Management). Dr. Apunda is passionate about advancing the well being of vulnerable individuals in society, particularly of tailors in the informal sector, through skills development to improve productivity and income for sustainable livelihoods. The urge to realize this passion led Dr. Apunda to develop a curriculum model for intervention in skills training of tailors. As an educationist, a scholar, and a researcher, Dr. Apunda has come to realize the power that effective skills training plays in empowering individuals marginalized from access to formal training and employment, in acquiring employment in the informal sector, escaping from poverty and living sustainable livelihoods. Through the dissemination of her findings at various platforms, she has made significant contributions in the understanding of training needs of tailors in the informal sector and the challenges and strategies of enhancing the quality of skills training. Edwinah has over 20 years of teaching and lecturing at various levels of institutions of higher education and training. She is also currently working towards opening a training school to put the curriculum to practice to have a direct impact on people’s skills development.
Jane W Muchiri is a trained dietitian registered with the Association for Dietetics in South Africa. She holds a doctoral degree in Dietetics. Dr. Muchiri is passionate about contributing to peoples’ well-being and health by empowering them with knowledge, skills, and abilities to optimise their nutrition. This accomplished through training of students, nutrition education, counselling, and research. She has over 20 years of experience as a trainer at the tertiary level in the field of nutrition and dietetics. As a trainer, she encourages her students not only to excel but also to live as examples/role models to the society by putting into practice what they learn, for example implementing exclusive breastfeeding for their own babies.
Dr. Muchiri’s main nutrition focus area is non-communicable diseases, a challenge that needs tackling at all stages of the life cycle. She has been involved in health-promoting programmes involving people living with type 2 diabetes, helping them to improve diabetes control through dietary and healthy lifestyles. The people were empowered through interactive group sessions and supportive education materials. Participants recommended the programme to others as they felt they had greatly benefitted. Through her various scientific publications, she has contributed to the body of knowledge in the area of nutrition education in the management of diabetes.