Bursary students pay it forward

Promising young 2019 beneficiaries immerse themselves in their studies while also volunteering in their communities during the holidays.

Since its inception in 2015, Kouga Wind Farm’s development focus has been to help communities of the Kouga area achieve sustainable economic growth through education, skills development, healthcare and recreation.

Testament to this commitment has been a paid-for bursary programme which is managed by Masinyusane and has invested more than R1.2m in sponsoring 22 students to further their education since 2018.

In 2019, 17 students received bursaries worth a total of R776,000. The 17 were shortlisted and selected by an independent panel of judges from a large pool of applicants after the programme was advertised in the Kouga area and on social media.

While they may be studying in different fields, the bursary holders are all armed with a burning desire to succeed, have worked hard to achieve good matric results and have a passion for their chosen future careers.

The bursary programme enables matriculants from underprivileged communities in KwaNomzamo, Umzamowethu, Sea Vista, Kruisfontein and surrounding farms to spread their wings at tertiary education institutions across the country.

These students don’t have to spend sleepless nights – apart from burning the midnight oil behind the books – worrying about the cost of tuition, textbooks, accommodation, food and transport.

Besides financial support, the programme maintains close contact with beneficiaries to encourage accountability for their academic performance, as well as providing appropriate support where needed.

Beneficiaries also have the opportunity to attend leadership and personal development workshops to maximise the probability of success in their chosen careers and life in general.

Apart from knuckling down in their various fields of study, beneficiaries are required to serve in their communities during their holidays.

This aspect of the bursary programme aims to cultivate the spirit of ubuntu, as well as a “pay-it-forward” value system.

Several beneficiaries have even gone above and beyond their prescribed 50 hours of service to help their communities.

Jeffreys Bay’s Zintle Mathanjana, who is doing her diploma in agricultural management at the Nelson Mandela University, was among the first to complete her pay-it-forward hours in July.

She volunteered at the Ward 14 councillor’s office in the Kouga Municipality, doing home visits in Ocean View to identify families in need of assistance with groceries.

Vathiswa Ntshota, from Sea Vista, is another beneficiary who has gone above and beyond the required hours. Vathiswa is in her second year at Damelin College, where she is studying human resources management.

She has been giving of her time at the Shekinah Soup Kitchen and has also been involved in cleaning public spaces under the Community Works Programme.