February 2013 – Vukuzakhe Update

Vukuzakhe sponsors promising young people to complete a tertiary education. Past recipients of this assistance are:

Thokozani (Christina) Mhlongo is currently teaching Mathematics at a township school (she started her teaching career at one of Durban’s well-known Girl’s Colleges but wanted to serve people less fortunate) while studying for her Masters degree in Education.  In 2013 Thokozani will be tying the knot in marriage but intends to carry on teaching.

Motlatsi Molefe is one of our great success stories. Firstly, he obtained an Electrical Engineering degree in Cape Town, worked for a while to make enough to enrol for a B.Com degree at Rhodes University where he graduated at end 2012.  He is currently running a successful business in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape.

Others in the process of studying for University Degrees are:

S’bongile Ngubo has completed fifteen of forty modules of a B.Ed degree from Unisa. She has a full-time teaching job in addition to which she has a job two afternoons a week at Vukuzakhe’s Dancing Pencils programme which covers her University fees.

Nompumelelo Mbokazi has completed twenty modules of her B.Ed degree and is a full-time teacher at Goxhill Primary School. She has evening jobs in Vukuzakhe’s Adult Literacy Programme . She will complete 6 modules of her degree in 2013.

Thabisile Ngcobo will do another 5 modules in her B.Sociology degree course in 2013. She currently teaches a Bridging Grade R class at Noah’s Ark.

Phumla Ngcobo (pictured left) passed her second year in Journalism at Rhodes University in 2012 and her pass was good enough to get her into Third Year for 2013 the Rhodes Journalism faculty is very picky!. She is pictured here on a visit to Underberg recently when she and two friends enjoyed an “unforgettable” camping trip on which the other two “city-bred” girls were frightened out of their wits by strange noises in the night!

Zinhle Mbanjwa is serving an internship at Underberg Primary School where she assists hostel children with homework. She is enrolled for 2013 at UNISA University.

Not all Vukuzakhe’s bursary students are following University courses.

Dumisani Kheswa supported by Vukuzakhe,matriculated at Kwamvimbela High  in 2012 – despite having to live on his own for the 2011 and 2012 years. We found him a job with a Tractor and Farm Equipment maintenance operation “to see if he had aptitude.” The owner of the business phoned Pierre after two weeks – “I want this guy, he’s good!” So for 2013 he has been enrolled at a Further Education & Training College in Pietermaritzburg to pursue a Motor Mechanics course.

Daniel Mbanjwa, who completed an FET Plumber’s Course, is employed on a housing project in our District, responsible for roofing of 500 sub-economic housing units.

Not all our sponsored students are in tertiary institutions yet. This is Musa Thubakgale (right), a Grade 12 student at Faithway College  who was made a Prefect this year.

And in Junior School (Underberg Primary) we have:

Malibongwe Majosi who comes from UMqatsheni , boards in thehostel and is six years old, in Grade 1 this year. His ambition is to be a policeman.

In Grade 2 is Bongeka Mbanjwa from Kilmun, living in the hostel during the week. She loves Maths and Reading, went on a group hike up Hlogoma Mountain last year and hopes one day to be a teacher.

11 year-old Thor Mkhize is also in hostel, and is in Grade 4. Asked about sport, she says “I have won in tennis, I was the first Junior Girl and I would like to play for South Africa one day. I also swim and I went to Kokstad to run.”

Samkelo Majozi will turn 12 this year and is in Grade 6. Last year she was awarded School Colours and was the captain in the Girls’ Soccer Team.  She boards in the hostel – her home is Johannesburg . Life has not been easy for Samkelo – in January this year her mother passed away.

Nosipho Sithole lives with her aunt. “My father used to live near Franklin” but since her mother’s death she has lost touch with him.  At fourteen she is in Grade 8 at Faithway College, having done exceptionally well last year in Grade 7. Her favourite subjects are Arts and Culture, Life Orientation and English. Nosipho has very diverse ambitions for her life after school – an engineer or an actress. Her teachers feel she will excel at either.

In each of these young lives there is family tragedy – death or the break-up of the home. They all reveal the tragedy that, all too often, is Africa, of often absent fathers and mothers or grandparents struggling to bring up children on very small incomes that must feed and clothe many.

Absent fathers … the scourge of the HIV-AIDS pandemic…babies and young children dumped on gogo’s (grandmothers) in rural villages. Children losing the ‘Golden Years’, losing out on their learning milestones. Because no matter how well-intentioned the grandmother, she is unlikely to be able to provide the child with the stimulus it needs.

At Vukuzakhe Projects, with the help of our partners Children’s Chance For Life and Generation Joy Foundation, we are committed to doing our share  to break this cycle.