Getting ahead and giving back

Each of the Kouga Wind Farm Bursary holders gets tuition, books and accommodation, plus a laptop with internet access, and a small stipend.  In return, they are expected to pass 70 per cent of their courses and to ‘pay it forward’ through 50 hours of community service per annum. These are some of the bursary holders who have done far more than what was expected of them.

Leelon Jacobs
Flying our flag all the way to Parliament

As an assistant gardener, mopper of floors and general sanitiser of hands and furniture at the Parliamentary Security Service in Cape Town, Leelon Jacobs is a credit to the Kouga Wind Farm bursary that he holds. He was commended by the police officer on duty, who noted how focused he is and that it was a pleasure to work with him.

“I have enjoyed my community service experience at Parliament. It was a lot of work because Parliament is really big, but doing so gave me an insight into what I was doing as community service. I saw that someone else is doing it as a job to feed their family. That made me realise that it doesn’t matter how big or small a job you have, you must always treat everyone with respect.”

So far, Leelon has worked 27 of his 50 hours, representing himself in an exemplary fashion. His leadership skills have also been evident in that he is always quick to encourage and congratulate his peers on the beneficiaries’ WhatsApp group chat.  An architecture student, he created an inspirational video mood board, which he shared on the group. In it he showed his determination to keep improving after receiving constructive criticism from his lecturers.

Athenkosi Strong Sodladla
Practising what he preaches

Athenkosi has given 55 hours to the Mzamo wo Moya afterschool programme at Lungiso High School in KwaNomzamo. There he assisted Grade 11 and 12 learners with their homework assignments, focusing on Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

Using the knowledge and wisdom he has gained through his personal journey, Athenkosi gave motivational talks to the students about how to overcome the academic challenges they face, and he provided them with useful tips on how to prepare for their examinations.

“The ‘pay it forward’ work was a wake-up call that I needed in my life. I realised that I do not need money in order to help people; I can simply use the little I have and to the right people it will make a huge impact. The bottom line is that I really enjoyed it; it is my biggest achievement this year.”

Showing strong leadership skills, his progress report reflects four distinctions so far this year. This is a young man who shows that he really ‘walks the talk’.

Siyabonga Williams
Lifting as he rises

A level 4 National Certificate Vocational (NCV) student, Siyabonga is in his final year. At the same time, he has been pursuing his entrepreneurial interests as a photographer in both Humansdorp and Gqeberha. His ‘pay it forward’ work is achieved through organising photoshoots using aspiring local models and brands.

Siyabonga partnered with other budding entrepreneurs in Gqeberha by doing a promotional shoot for Is’kholane water and Bodigadi energy drink. He took beautiful photographs of the models with these brands – for free.

“Doing something out of love and not expecting anything in return has been a huge advantage to me. It boosted my self-confidence in working with people, and I also gained knowledge,” he says.

This was in addition to the more than 30 hours that he spent at Sophakama High School. There he assisted with data capturing, printing and making photocopies for the teachers.  He also tutored Mathematics to the Grade 10 and 11 learners.  At the Lithemba Support Group, he prepared and served food to children and their parents living in a dilapidated school in New Brighton.