Our goal is to provide an Educational Bursary for students to enable them to enter High School and potentially University. Students that have academic potential, but lack funds in Somerset East, South Africa are carefully selected for the Bursary. The intention is that they will bring those skills back to the rural community and informally educate others.
Due to endemic educational deprivation such as effective teaching and learning and overcrowding, about two out of ten learners are considered deprived in the Eastern Cape. (Stats. SA . Feb.26, 2016) Many students drop-out before grade 7 due to economic hardships ; leaving school without employable literacy and numeracy skills.
Since its inception the Siyakhulisa Abantwana Trust , founded by the Canadian Humanitarian Dr. Alan Russell, five students have graduated from High School. One has graduated from the University of Cape Town and is now presently teaching back in the local community; supporting this nonprofit, non-governmental Trust through his actions. In this manner he is continuing to stimulate the economic growth and development in this rural township as the Trust had intended.
I have personally travelled from Canada and taught at William Oates Primary School in 2010 and subsequently returned to Somerset East in 2016. The graduating students and the community expressed the need and importance of higher education as a means to employment. They realized that this educational opportunity has had a significant impact in their chosen field and made them employable.
It is the ambition of the Trust to enable more students in Somerset East to have an opportunity to continue formal education, beyond the elementary level. The Trust comprises of volunteers who saw the need for an educational change within their community. They recognized change had to start within the township and this could only occur through education. This would raise the standards for the rest of the community.
'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.'
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