Prof. Jafta's work has been widely published, both locally and internationally, and she has been recognised with a wide array of awards, among them Stellenbosch University's departmental award for teaching excellence, which she won for four consecutive years from 2004. In 2011, she received the Student Representative Council's (SRC) Award for Exceptional Alumni from the University, and in 2012 was nominated for the Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year Award in the education category.
Rachel's commitment to academic development and social change extends well beyond the university walls. She serves as a trustee for a number of the country's most renowned developmental initiatives, among them the Helen Suzman Foundation, the South African Institute of Race Relations and the Cape Town Carnival Trust, which she co-founded.
Rachel's is the Chairperson of the Rachel's Angels Trust, which forms part of Media24's corporate social investment programme, and has been developed in order to prepare Grade 11 and 12 learners for the challenges they might face once they have matriculated. Learners from under-privileged communities are selected to be mentored by senior University of Stellenbosch students, who help them to develop stronger business acumen and real-world skills.
When one spends time in community engagement, the challenges can sometimes seem overwhelming. There are so many people in need and so little time and money. It helps to reflect on what it is that you can do to help, to do that as best you can and in the process, you hopefully inspire others to bring their hearts, hands and minds to the cause, too.
Rachel, we salute you!