Module 4

About Module 4

About this online version

You will notice that this version of Module 4 is from November 2021 which took place in Spain. Tekano has begun publishing the Year Long Fellowship Module Guides online as composite PDF documents for downloading, and as interactive website versions. To allow for all four modules to be published as a composite set by August-September 2022, it has been necessary to publish a past version of the last module, because the fourth module takes place each November and so the 2022 design was not yet finalised. Please read this version as an example of how Module 4 is conceived each year. 

Module 4 takes place in a different location around the world each year. Thus far, Module 4 destinations have been England 2019, Spain 2021 and it is planned for Cuba in November 2022. The Covid-19 pandemic saw an adjustment in design for 2020 and 2021. Beyond 2022, Module 4 may also take place in Africa or even within South Africa. 

Each international exchange visit has a particular theme and then a rhythm of activities that involve maximum engagement with social change formations through the week.  The theme of Module 4 in 2021 was ‘Collective agency for social change – comparative learning’. The rhythm of activities involved: 

Pre-module work –groups design a poster on Spain’s social change journey to be brought to the module as a way to track how our learning and analysis evolves

Reflect on forms, theories and approaches to social change by considering clusters of social movements and formations in South Afrca

  • Airport pre-module briefing – reviews the posters while in transit plus social contracting for safe and sound travel together
  • A context review of key social, political and economic dynamics of Spain 
  • Comparing Spain and South Africa’s health system
  • A world café afternoon & evening engaging local movements while appreciating local food and drinks
  • A reflection on South Africa’s health crisis – the HIV/Aids pandemic of 1992 to 1996 
  • A panel discussion on the impact of neoliberalism on health in Spain, South Africa and Latin America
  • Site visits to a set of social movements to understand their approach to organizing and campaigning, and on the next day to the Horta de Valencia cooperative
  • Movie night on women’s migration and its domino effect on care provision – Caring Between Lands
  • Celebrating the completion of the Year Long Fellowship and transition to Life Long Fellowship. 

Travel and country information is offered as the last section of this guide ‘Spain – Information Pack’. It includes socio-political background information, the specifics of planned engagements, as well as complete logistical information. 

About Module 4: Collective Agency for Social Change – Comparative Learning from the World

As the final Module in the Tekano Year Long Fellowship, Module 4 consolidates and builds upon the learning foundation laid by the three preceding modules. It exposes Fellows to broader international contexts and complexities, to encourage incisive comparative critical learning. The module focuses on the theories, approaches, concrete experiences, dynamics and outcomes of social change in the destination country, to allow for evidence-based comparison. 

This comparative international approach is also informed by the perspective that: 

  • South Africa’s reality and health system are not separate from global dynamics – they have been shaped, continue to be shaped, and in turn, also impact on the global health system
  • Social change does not take place or cannot be achieved in one country without considering other contexts
  • The struggle for lasting social change must have an international solidarity dimension – from South Africa’s history, we see how vital such international solidarity was in defeating the apartheid regime and in the early democracy struggles for affordable medical treatment for HIV-positive people.

This last module frames the broad outline and key elements of the next stage of Fellows’ journeys as Lifelong Fellows. Tekano is confident that these four modules have deepened or sparked Fellows’ as committed, critical, and engaged agents for health equity and broader social change that is characterised by an approach that will yield self-emancipatory, thoroughgoing and transformative social justice.

The YLF learning process started building to this moment from Module 1. Fellows were introduced to the health equity landscape as framed in this fellowship, through a critical historicization of the making of the unequal, unjust, unsustainable and unstable polity that South Africa is today.  We grappled from Module 1 (held in Gauteng in 2022) with the underlying structural and systemic forces and dynamics shaping our contemporary reality. We were challenged to critically engage the evolution of South Africa’s health system and how it has entrenched and deepened inequality. Module 2 (held in Limpopo in 2022) introduced the tool and concept of political economy as a critical approach to analyse socio-economic phenomena in general, and the health system. Our use of political economy as a tool, also introduced the link between critical analysis and collective action for social justice. It encouraged us to expand or deepen our perspectives on potential alternatives. Module 3 (held in the Eastern Cape in 2022) built upon the conceptual foundations from the first two modules, by using community-level activism as a lens through which to concretely experience how these systems manifest. It encouraged a deepened understanding of the structural and social determinants of health and how social actors are organising and challenging the current reality. 

Lastly and most importantly, Module 4 is also a key step as Fellows ready themselves to implement their Social Change Initiatives (SCIs). Tekano believes that the comparative critical learning approach informing this last module will enable Fellows to draw important lessons from already advanced real-life experiences of social justice in action in other countries.