1. Margaret Ferguson

    Margaret Ferguson
    Margaret Ferguson was born in Birmingham, U.K at the beginning of World War II. Educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and Westhill Training College, she spent 16 years in school teaching, though not continuously, as she travelled worldwide as the former wife of a Royal Navy Officer. Despite her constant moves, she had two management positions in teaching. For a short time in the 1980’s she set up and ran a Care home. From the early 1980’s she became involved in British politics, initially joining the new Social Democrat party later to become the Liberal Democrats. As a Christian, she became the Chairman of the Christian Forum; a ‘fringe’ group of the party and responsible for liaising with Christian Members of Parliament. In 1993 she was elected as a Hampshire County Councillor (closest in South Africa would be a provincial politician) . She specialised in Education and developed her interest and concern in the community aspect of politics. She came to South Africa in 2001, initially for 6 months on a missionary basis working in Pollsmoor Prison for a Christian charity where she learned from the bottom up’ locked in a cell with juvenile boys. In 2002 she returned to South Africa and soon after she took on voluntary management responsibility in the charity in Pollsmoor Prison; to include personnel, training, policy development, juveniles and taking the position of Acting Director three times. Since leaving Pollsmoor Prison, she has developed various interests including offering training to communities in ex offender aftercare. She has reached an Advanced standard in Floral Art and ran workshops in a poor community. As a qualified Food Hygiene trainer with the Institute of Environmental Health Officers in the UK, she has taught food hygiene to catering students in Langa township, Cape Town. She was also a trained singer. Her past experience has led her to a view about the importance of ‘developing community’ as a priority in South Africa; the ‘foundation stone’ for there to be social cohesion and a successful democracy, through a restorative ‘bottom up’ approach. She continues to be involved with a local poor community in Cape Town through a church committed to social development.

    Posts by this author:

    A Sense of Community

    How can we develop participatory South African communities? (Providing the opportunity for individual involvement.)