Facing Up is a UCT-affiliated occupational therapy initiative focused on developing and partnering with communities to bring and support social change. The initiative has been developing since 2001 and has grown through partnerships with many NGOs and schools in Cape Town. Occupational therapists and final year occupational therapy students from the Division of Occupational Therapy at UCT work together with various communities and marginalised groups. The work is centred around 5 key beliefs;
Marginalised people have the capacity to bring solutions to address their health as a collective
Marginalised people have the right to engage in everyday activities that bring meaning and purpose to their lives
Health is not only defined by impairment status but also by people being able or unable to do as they live, learn, work or socialise
Promoting health should be prioritised by professionals especially in our context where chronic poverty and systemic inequalities and injustices prevail
Critical questioning of social injustices is necessary work for transformation and pushing the boundaries of practice
Facing up applies the Occupation-based Community Development Framework (ObCD) to guide practice. Community Development practice in OT is an emerging and necessary field. Stories of change are shared here with the hope to share the knowledge gained from communities and to inspire others to partner with us, one story at a time.