Further education is a privilege that millions of South African youth aren’t able to afford. October is Social Development Month, so it’s a good time to consider helping out your fellow citizens.
Why should you help?
It has long been acknowledged that charitable initiatives (such as Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects, for example) should strive to make a long-lasting impact. Once-off initiatives such as food donations or volunteering at the local homeless shelter for a day are definitely helpful, but will they make the lasting difference that you’re aiming for?
Access to education is one of South Africa’s most pressing challenges and is at the heart of unemployment and poverty. Many disadvantaged young people cannot afford an education. Without an education, they cannot secure proper jobs, and so the cycle of poverty continues. Helping someone to further their education (thereby improving their chance of finding work) is one of the most constructive and long-lasting ways to contribute to the well-being of your community.
Which education options can you sponsor?
Further education and training is not only limited to costly multi-year degrees. In fact, the biggest need for education lies in our communities where many young people never had the chance to finish school, either due to their family obligations or financial circumstances, and now don’t meet the requirements for acceptance into a university. For them, options such as technical matric or bridging courses are perfect, as these programmes serve as stepping stones towards higher qualifications. In addition, short learning programmes – where students are taught basic skills and knowledge related to a specific field – can also be very beneficial as it would prepare them for entry-level positions. These courses won’t place a heavy financial burden on sponsors, with prices starting from as little as R400 per month.
Alternatively, you may be looking to sponsor someone who has Matric but didn’t achieve the minimum requirements for university admission. If this is the case, then national qualifications at N4 level are ideal options, giving your sponsored student the chance to further his or her studies in a wide variety of fields and build towards a future career. These courses start from around R600 per month.
How do you find the right person to sponsor?
When choosing someone to sponsor, you’ll naturally want to ensure that the person is deserving of your support, and that he or she will make the most of the opportunity. Your goal is to find someone who is passionate about improving themselves and who will be fully committed to their studies.
Speak to people working in community development, such as religious leaders, social workers, local government officials or teachers. They will usually have strong relationships with families in your area and may be able to suggest someone who is eager to further their education but who doesn’t have the means to. You can then arrange to meet with the candidate and their family. By getting to know them better, you’ll be able to determine whether they are deserving of a sponsorship.
When making your decision, you may also want to consider sponsoring someone who aims to pursue a similar career path to your own. In doing so, you’ll be able to provide guidance and mentorship to your student as they progress through their studies, and possibly even help them find a job once they have finished their course.
Many bright, passionate young people miss out on reaching their full potential, simply because they don’t get the opportunities they deserve. So, this Social Development Month, consider giving them the opportunity to build a brighter future.
Looking to sponsor someone’s studies? Click here to browse through Oxbridge Academy’s wide range of short courses and national qualifications.
If you’re looking for alternatives to a university degree, remember that with Edgars Club, you can save R1 000 on an Oxbridge Academy course of your choice. All you need to do is call 021 1100 200, and quote the following voucher code: EDG2019. For more info click here.