Since its inception in 2018, our bursary programme and its beneficiaries have blossomed. From helping just seven deserving students to reach their academic dreams in its first year, the programme has grown to accommodate 32 recipients this year.
Administered by Masinyusane, the bursary not only covers tuition, books, and accommodation, but laptops and internet access too, plus a small stipend. Prospective students must be from communities serviced by Kouga Wind Farm, their matric results must be exceptional, and household incomes must be below a specified threshold. A panel of judges makes the final decision, and recipients are expected to give back 50 hours per year to their community through a “pay it forward” initiative.
Jonathan Groener, a new beneficiary, is currently doing Electrical Engineering at JBay Technical Academy. He sees the bursary as “a life-changing opportunity” that has enabled him to follow his childhood dream of becoming a reputable electrical engineer.
“As a boy, I used to open up electric motors,” he says. “To see the working principles and the layout of the components fascinated me. [This bursary] has allowed me to do something I love.”
First-year Bachelor of Law student at Rhodes University, Owam Jacobs, is equally motivated.
“The Kouga Wind Farm bursary has meant a lot to me, not only in monetary value, but in moral support as well. I have been blessed with amazing mentors who go the extra mile in these uncertain times. It feels really empowering to know you are not alone. This has had such an impact on my prospects … I know that good times and success are ahead.
“The bursary has evoked a philanthropic spirit within me as I will be contributing my time and efforts towards a cause close to my heart. In less than a decade, you will be addressing me as Attorney Jacobs!”
As a further incentive, the bursary programme now also includes a reward system, offering R1 000 for every subject distinction a student receives. This has clearly been effective. In 2019 there were 16 distinctions, and by 2020 this number had risen dramatically to 52.
Yonela Matiso is a second-year BCom Accounting student at NMU, who is proud to have obtained eight distinctions last year. “Being online, there was not the structure of going to school, so I had to motivate myself. Having the reward system motivates a person even more.” At AFDA, second-year BA in Motion Picture Medium student Llewellyn Breda achieved five distinctions for his first year. He says, “The system served as extra motivation to go the extra mile with every assignment and test … I was not only working for a report any more, but towards the funding of my new computer.”