The Bursary Programme Boosts Support For Students
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the education sector in 2020. Despite this, the PPS Foundation remained steadfast in delivering on its core purpose to nurture the potential of South Africa’s youth. We still awarded 54 bursaries, mainly to students enrolled in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. We are proud therefore to report that of the 54 students, 22 completed their degrees and graduated.
In a normal academic year, the Foundation pays for bursary holders’ accommodation, meals and textbooks. 2020 was no ordinary year, however. Our bursary beneficiaries faced major challenges and had to adjust to unprecedented change, including extension of the academic year by two months. They needed our support and empathy more than any of their predecessors.
We funded their additional accommodation expenses and provided laptops and 3G cards for those who needed it. We are an organisation with its heart in the right place, through our actions we showed that we were more than just a sponsor.
We supported and engaged with beneficiaries through regular scheduled check-ins. In these uncertain times it was vital that our students could voice their concerns and opinions in a safe, sympathetic space.
We continue to witness the massive impact of COVID-19 on life as we know it. It is essential that education and academia carry on to secure the long-term future of our country. To this end, we remain committed to giving nothing but our best efforts to every PPS bursary beneficiary.
Limpopo – Brace Yourselves for Emmanuel
Emmanuel Ndou, a fifth-year medical student, has come a long way since leaving his rural home in Limpopo. His sleepless nights caused by the anxiety of possibly having to drop out due to lack of funding is now but a distant memory. The learning curve was indeed steep for this young man. Fast forward to 2021 and the University of Pretoria student’s dream of becoming a doctor will finally come true, thanks to the PPS Bursary Programme. He explains that the Foundation’s support did not stop with funding but extended to emotional support as well, especially throughout the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says that frequent check-ins and additional support assisted him tremendously while adjusting to the new online learning model. Emmanuel’s most valuable takeaway lesson from this opportunity is that there are organisations with compassion that truly want to see young people fulfil their true potential.
“Receiving the bursary has given me hope that I will be able to graduate debt-free in 2022. I plan to do my community service at one of the hospitals in Limpopo because there is a great demand for doctors in poverty-stricken areas. Ultimately though, I intend to pay it forward to other students in my field by donating through the PPS Foundation.”
It All Adds Up for Maths Whizz
With both parents retired, BSc Mathematical Science student Alexandra Oxley found the cost of tertiary education an overwhelming obstacle. Due to her demanding degree, she could not take on the extra burden of a part-time job while studying; Alexandra literally felt like her back was against the wall. Luckily, her impressive academic track record caught the attention of the PPS Foundation and the organisation has since funded her tuition fees, textbooks, accommodation and food.
“The PPS Foundation treats every bursary beneficiary as an individual, rather than one of a collective. I had the great pleasure to meet and talk with Subashni Gounder at a function held at Stellenbosch University. She made me feel like my concerns and struggles with studying during COVID-19 were valid and heard. For me, this reiterated what the PPS Foundation strives to do for all its beneficiaries – to nurture potential.”
“The PPS Foundation treats each beneficiary as an individual, rather than one of a collective. I had the great pleasure to meet and converse with Subashni Gounder at a function held at Stellenbosch University. She made me feel like my concerns and struggles with studying during COVID-19 were valid and heard. This reiterated what the PPS Foundation strives to do for all its beneficiaries – to nurture potential.”
DISCLAIMER: All group photos used in the publication were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.