The challenges facing our youth are enormous but nothing could be more demotivating than the lack of opportunity. Thousands strive to obtain a university entrance matric result but limited spaces are compounded by a lack of funding for those fortunate few who are accepted. A university education passionately pursued could be the defining moment between abject poverty and life altering, dignified prosperity not only for a particular student but in many instances for an entire extended family. We have been fortunate to experience this dramatic shift in social circumstances for many who have benefited through our bursary programme over the last 17 years.
Having been launched as one of our "new" projects in 1997 with an initial outlay of R20 000 the Gift of the Givers Bursary Project has grown exponentially with an average spend of R5-6 million per year in the last four years benefiting hundreds of students. Many professionals and individuals in the corporate and public sector have probably come from similar circumstances and can relate to the emotional state of today's student in dire circumstances.
As much as we try there is only so much we can do given that bursaries is only one of 21 categories of projects under our administration. We invite the participation of those who have prospered to assist even in a small way to those wanting to make a new start in life. Working together we can empower a significant proportion of our population. Modest contributions from employed South Africans could make a huge difference to thousands of families as we could then add many more beneficiaries to the bursary programme. We welcome your contributions as we rush to meet university registration deadlines.
It would be hugely beneficial if some institutions would take on the responsibility of compiling readily accessible information as to the most sought after "skills" in the country through constant feedback from government, corporates, farmers, etc. Simple stats as to how many nurses, doctors, social workers, teachers, specific types of engineers, various artisans, journalists, managers, etc required could shape the career path students choose. All too often students enroll into an honours, masters and doctorate programme having spent 6 years in studying and hundreds of thousands of rands on tuition fees only to emerge at the end of the tunnel more disillusioned than ever as there is no scope for that particular field of study. The euphoria of scholastic achievement is overtaken by melancholia, huge disappointment and hopelessness. As an integral aspect of our bursary funding we guide prospective students to pursue disciplines that have a greater opportunity for employment. Please send us your suggestions as to what the most sought out skills are and we can redirect students into a wider range of career paths.
Click below for full bursary recipient lists: