The Mitchell’s Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust has invested more than
R1.5 million in improving the lives of 87 students, from Mitchell’s Plain, Philippi and surrounding areas.
At a lunch for recipients, their family members, trustees and donors at Cedar High School of the Arts, in Rocklands, on Saturday July 27, Trevor Manuel, founder of the trust and former minister in the presidency, said financial aid was a small part of ensuring a student could attend university and still eat.
The trust offers financial support and mentorship to young people, who would like to pursue further and tertiary education.
“It involves money but it is more than money. It is about the investment in lives. It is about shared lives. It is about a deep, deep commitment and trust in each other,” he said.
Mr Manuel said the trust was based on the understanding that some people had had opportunities, which they now had to create for others.
He linked the lyrics of the national anthem “Let us live and strive for freedom” and the words in the constitution, which talk about raising the living standard of each citizen and freeing the potential of each person.
“It is in freeing the potential that you can then raise the living standards of people. Raising the living standards of the people means that role models are produced and they come back and make the commitment,” he said.
He said recipients had agreed to return to their school and their neighbourhood; and make people understand who they were and what change happened in their lives.
The trust was launched on June 16 2011, and the first bursaries were awarded to 15 pupils from the Mitchell’s Plain matric class of 2012, who each received R10 000 towards tuition.
They can now provide assistance with registration fees and partially cover tuition to a maximum of R25 000.
Third-year University of the Western Cape linguistics student Quaide Rumble, 20, from Elsies River, who received the Anthony George Bursary for Students with Special Needs last year, said the trust was about community and that “it takes a community to raise a child”.”This year’s recipients, ranging from first-year students to master’s degree candidates, are from various institutions across the province and mainly have a link with Mitchell’s Plain, either having been from the area or top pupils at the local high schools.
Of the 87 students, 25 of them are first-year students and from
the 17 high schools in Mitchell’s Plain.
Fourth-year sociology student at the University of Cape Town Seonaid Kabiah, 21, from Rocklands but who now lives at the university residence, thanked the trust for investing in them.
“Thank you for passing that baton and we will make sure to do the same, to create legacies, within the community of Mitchell’s Plain.
“We thank you for giving us the opportunity to create powerful and possible legacies,” she said.