The Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund yesterday hosted a lunch for their bursary recipients and partners who have made donations towards bursaries for young women. Also at the lunch were representatives of the non-profit organisation, Tomorrow Trust, who partner with Cell C and assist with the identification of post-matric qualifying girls from disadvantaged backgrounds who would benefit from, and obtain formal qualifications, from the fund.
Said the Cell C Foundation’s Managing Executive, Suzette van der Merwe: “We see the offering of bursaries complementary to our Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day® initiative and as a long term, sustainable investment that empowers women. Said van der Merwe: “The development and empowerment of young women is at the heart of Cell C’s corporate structure and corporate social investment initiatives.”
“Education remains one of the most important means of achieving gender equity as it empowers women with knowledge, skills, self-confidence and social and economic status. These qualities enable women to participate meaningfully in our economy, Suzette said.”
She added: “Given the number of young women who are unemployed and therefore vulnerable in every possible way, education is critical.”
To attain this goal, the Cell C Foundation started the Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund in 2013 and has already produced two graduates.
A disturbing recent survey found that for every 100 South African students, only 51 make it to senior school. A mere 40 of the 100 learners finish high school, 16 qualify for college and just 2 students graduate college.
Speaking at the launch yesterday, Tamsyn-Lee Donnelly, a third year medical student at Wits said: “Having received a Cell C Girl Child Bursary has changed my life. I’ve always dreamt of becoming a doctor since the age of two. Financially it would not have been possible, but with a helping hand, me, and all the girls sitting in this room, are on the path to our dreams becoming a reality. We are all truly grateful.”
The Tomorrow Trust’s Lorena El-Lakkis: “Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty by creating independent, well-rounded and self-sustainable graduates and it is through this that our partnership with Cell C was founded.
Like the Cell C Foundation, we believe that the empowerment of women begins with education and we are delighted to assist to manage the Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund by supporting 30 young, dynamic women to achieve their dreams.”
Said van der Merwe: “Tomorrow Trust’s valuable contribution through psycho social support, life skill development and academic support have delivered astounding results that shows our South African youth are indeed our future to a successful country moving forward”.
The bursaries cover registration, tuition fees, books, accommodation and meals as well as a monthly allowance. This year’s recipients are:
Each young lady were given a Huawei sponsored tablet and Cell C data.
Their fields of study include Accounting, Commerce, Law, Medicine, Marketing and Computer Science. Several young women who have been beneficiaries of bursaries in the past 3 years were there to cheer on and give advice to this year’s intake.
Since its inception, big business has made generous donations to the Cell C Foundation, making it possible for 10 young women a year to receive bursaries.
Cell C is grateful for the support from its donor partners:
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