honours its Graduates
The Motsepe Foundation education sector hosted the 2nd Annual Alumni Ceremony, since the inception of the bursary programme in 2014. The event which took place at Emperors Palace in the east side of Johannesburg, saw many graduates share their stories and express their gratitude for the opportunity to further their studies. The Motsepe Foundation awarded the graduates with certificates honouring them for their hard work and finishing their degrees.
In 2017, the Foundation hosted its first Annual Alumni Ceremony where 96 graduates were honoured. This year a total of 86 students who graduated from various tertiary institutions across the country, were acknowledge and honoured for their achievement and were introduced to the Alumni programme. This brings a total of 182 bursary recipients who have completed their studies through the Motsepe Foundation bursary programme.
The Alumni programme was initiated to extend the network of graduates who share the values of ubuntu, integrity and a spirit of giving back to their communities. The Foundation encourages the Alumni to actively support other beneficiaries who are still at the university and in Motsepe Foundation anchor schools.
The ceremony is led by the beneficiaries, who after they have received a bursary from the Foundation, wanted to pay it forward.
Courtney Edwards, who is from the Western Cape and is currently working as an Educator was elected as a chairperson of the Alumni programme. “This programme is to make sure that every beneficiary is employed, self-employed and also giving back to the community somehow,” Courtney said.
“I may be in meetings with Bill Gates and all the prominent business people but I’m still the same girl who grew up in the township,” Dr Precious added.[/hcode_blockquote]
One of the Alumni, Desiree Authelia Mokhari who graduated in BSc in Microbiology and Biochemistry from University of Limpopo said being funded by the Motsepe Foundation taught her the importance of giving back.
“I am from a very disadvantaged community and I always wanted to give back, when I went to the University for the first time I was hit by the reality of not knowing how to use a computer. I knew this is what I have to go back home and do because there are so many other children who will come out of high school and struggle like I did,” she said.
Desiree and seven of her friends started an NGO called Lemukani Vantshwa where they give career guidance to learners in schools and also help the matriculants with the information on how to apply to study at University.
Deputy Chairman and CEO of Motsepe Foundation, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe was touched by the stories that the graduates shared, telling them that everyone has a story “What we have to do is not allow our circumstances define who we are. We have dreams and all we need to do is to work hard.”
“I may be in meetings with Bill Gates and all the prominent business people but I’m still the same girl who grew up in the township,” Dr Precious added.
Dr Precious said when the bursary programme started, they never thought it will be so huge and will touch the lives of so many young people.
“We believe that education is not just about funding one child but it is uplifting the whole family because if you educate one child you have helped the entire family and at most the entire community.“We are so grateful, we never thought that this bursary project will yield so many good results. Today we have a meaningful alumni programme. All I can say is that go out there represent yourselves, the country, your family but most of all represent yourselves very well,” Dr Precious said.