I am excited to be joining CHOSA as the U.S. fundraising coordinator. My name is Jennifer Erem and I am based in the Boston, Massachusetts area. My personal and professional connection to South Africa began with a Durban-based study abroad program in 2006. During this semester focused on reconciliation and development, I began studying isiZulu and volunteered with local organizations, including a crèche in an informal settlement. I learned that successful NGOs allow communities to identify their own needs and then work together to find sustainable solutions and empower individuals.
These experiences motivated me to pursue work with a microfinance organization in Madurai, India and later enroll in a graduate program in Anthropology and African Studies. My graduate research has focused on childhood, mother-tongue language, gender, and cultural education in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. In recent years, I have returned to South Africa on numerous occasions for research, language study, and volunteer work with children and families. I have been privileged to live with host families in urban and rural areas, participating the joys and challenges of daily life. These experiences inform and inspire my commitment to the philosophy and mission of CHOSA.
As fundraising coordinator, I look forward to collaborating with many CHOSA supporters in the U.S., including alumni volunteers, South Africans living abroad, and others with deep connections to South Africa, the children, and communities that CHOSA supports. If you are interested in supporting CHOSA or organizing a fundraiser, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-651-0443.