Started in 2018 with seven beneficiaries, the Kouga Wind Farm bursary programme has grown to 25 students at 10 tertiary institutions across South Africa, including universities, private academies and public TVET colleges.
Our students are enrolled for degrees and diplomas ranging from education to economics, IT to accounting, and baking to film-making.
Depending on their needs, our funding covers tuition, books, accommodation and living expenses. Through our partner, Masinyusane Development Organisation, we also provide mentors and self-development workshops.
In return, the students must pass at least 75% of their modules and complete 50 hours of volunteer work in their communities.
This year, they have faced massive disruptions, as campuses closed due to Covid-19. Before lockdown, Masinyusane delivered laptops to those who needed them, making sure our students were equipped for online learning.
Jim McKeown from Masinyusane says: “More than ever, students need support. These kids are lucky to have the wind farm sponsoring mentors. A lot will be new – having someone to talk to and ask advice from is a big advantage. With many other bursary schemes, that personal connection isn’t there.”
Luvo Tewu (KwaNomzamo)
Diploma: Financial Information Systems (3rd year)
Institution: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
“I can’t believe the change that the bursary has made in my life. My mother is a single parent. She supports me and my sister, and some cousins also live with us. Had it not been for the bursary, I wouldn’t have been able to further my studies. I became aware of the scheme when I attended an event sponsored by Kouga Wind Farm. Besides paying for my tuition, transport, and accommodation, and providing a stipend, they make regular contact to see how I’m doing. They’ve even travelled to Cape Town to see me. I’ve always been a very hardworking student, and when they give me a ‘bonus’ for every distinction I get, it makes me want to work even harder. This year was going to be great, my final year. I was supposed to graduate in December. But then I had to come home. They say we will begin again in June. I really hope so, but I am so grateful that I don’t have to worry about finances.”
Anelisa Adams (Sea Vista)
Degree: Bachelor of Education – Foundation Phase (2nd year)
Institution: Varsity College
“At home, it’s my mother, me and my younger sister. I found out about the bursary scheme on Facebook, so I applied online. No-one in my family had done tertiary education before, so I did not imagine that I could. What’s great is that they didn’t restrict my study area. They just want us to get involved in community service. Last year I worked at our community library reading to the young kids and did admin at the Council office. I was going to do Rainmakers this year, but that’s on hold now because of the lockdown. The sponsors have been so supportive. We had a robbery last year, and they were even prepared to pay for counselling. I used to wait for other students in the residence to finish on their laptops before I could do my assignments, so they supplied me with a laptop. Most of our studies are online at the moment. My stipend covers my data costs, which allows me to submit assignments.”
Llewellyn Breda (Kruisfontein)
Degree: Bachelor of Arts – Motion Picture (1st year)
“This bursary has been a dream come true for me. I matriculated in 2012, and since then I’ve worked in construction, retail and graphic design. I was determined to work and save to buy my first camera, and also to help my single mother feed our family. I’ve been doing so since I got my first job in Grade 9. When I read about the bursary on Facebook, I was so excited. Without this opportunity I don’t know how long it would have taken me to get to university. The fact that the bursary covers my accommodation, fees and a monthly stipend means I’m able to keep helping my mother, especially now that she is unable to work because of the lockdown. I’m determined to give back to my community once I’ve completed my studies. I am keen to introduce local schools to film-making. I also want to promote local people and talent via the films that I will make. We have so much to offer the world.”