A Bold Step

Mobilising the nation to help educate and employ the youth

 Kagiso Trust.jpg

Statistics SA figures for the third quarter of 2012 show that about 3.3million youth aged 15-34 are not employed or studying.

In an attempt to address some of South Africa’s most critical challenges facing the youth, Kagiso Trust launched the Bold Step Campaign in June 2012, as an initiative aimed at encouraging the nation to get actively involved in education reform. According to Kagiso Trust Corporate Affairs Manager, Nontando Mthethwa, the campaign is about inspiring purpose, hope, commitment, and an urgency to step up and make a difference to South Africa’s education system, a responsibility we all share as South Africans.

“Kagiso Trust has made a sizeable impact on higher education in South Africa, having funded more than 25 000 students with bursaries through the Kagiso Trust Bursary Programme in the 80s and early 90s, which the National Student Financial Aid Scheme took over post 1994,” says Mthethwa.

“However, Kagiso Trust is well-aware that we cannot do it alone, and has always been vocal about the need for the whole nation to get involved.”

South Africa’s challenges

According to the National Planning Commissions Diagnostic Report, there are nine critical challenges that face South Africa.

These relate to:

· The low level of employment

· The standard of education for most black learners is of poor quality

· Infrastructure is poorly located, under-maintained and insufficient to foster higher growth

· Spatial patterns exclude the poor from the fruits of development

· The economy is overly and unsustainably resource intensive

· A widespread disease burden is compounded by a failing public health system

· Public services are uneven and often of poor quality

· Corruption is widespread

· South Africa remains a divided society

Of these challenges, the commission believes that two are critical and interrelated: too few people work and the quality of education available to the majority is poor.

Kagiso Trust rallies the nation through bold step

KT has since introduced the Eric Molobi Scholarship Programme (EMSP) in honour of one of its founding trustees, Eric Molobi. The EMSP sponsors disadvantaged youth from the schools supported by the Beyers Naude Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) who demonstrate leadership qualities as well as a high aptitude to pursue an engineering and commerce tertiary qualification at a reputable institution so as to provide them with an opportunity to participate in the economy.

The Bold Step Campaign was thus launched to benefit the EMSP, which currently recruits 15 students annually. “Together, with the support of individuals and corporates, we can increase our efforts tenfold, and turn the state of education in South Africa around,” says Mthethwa.

The campaign not only seeks support from corporates, government and civil society, but also individuals who care and want to impact on the state of the country’s education and have a role to play in empowering marginalised South Africans.

 

Everyone has a role to play’

“When it comes to ‘giving back’, everyone has a role to play; everyone can do something,” says Mthethwa. “That’s why the Bold Step campaign has a range of fundraising initiatives available, making it easy and enjoyable for people to contribute.”

What makes this campaign different is that it appeals, not only to companies to give cash - whose donations would benefit their BEE scorecards - but also to ordinary South Africans.

“It’s time for a new mobilisation that taps into the potential for public action. We have the chance to ensure that more young people get educated, which is vital to tackling poverty. That’s why we’re challenging those who are in a position to take that bold step to give,” says Mthethwa.

 

The cost of education

Most undergraduate degrees cost between R15 000 and R25 000 per year and there is a much higher fee to pay for degrees in law and medicine.

“And, even if they manage to enroll for their studies, many students drop out as they’re unable to afford the extra costs like textbooks, transport, food, accommodation and other living costs,” he says, describing the important role that the Eric Molobi Scholarship Programme has to play in assisting students with a holistic approach towards their tuition.

 

Get involved - Take a Bold Step!

“If we want to see South Africa move forward, those of us who can, should consider making a financial contribution that will help others enjoy their right to quality education,” concludes Mthethwa. “The Bold Step campaign is more than just a call to action; it’s a human action.”

By supporting Bold Step, you will make a positive impact on the state of education and the skills shortage in South Africa by sponsoring these children through their tertiary education years.

SMS ‘Bold Step’ to 40064 and donate R20 to the campaign.

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