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About

This is a movement initiated by students…for students. It started with one of the students, recognising the plight of fellow students, struggling on a daily basis to make ends meet. Often students will not have conducive living arrangements, can’t afford decent meals and would often tackle a full academic day without breakfast. Many don’t have any local family support and has continuous stress about covering academic and personal expenses. Imagine the kind of perseverance required to complete your studies, under such conditions? Often, very competent students then don’t return for their next academic year, due to lack of funds.

Compelled to try and do something about this situation, StudyTrust, a bursary organisation, was approached with the idea to embark on a challenging walk in order to raise bursary funding. StudyTrust made current bursary beneficiaries aware of this idea, and received an overwhelming response with 134 students signing up, wanting to plough back and make a difference to the lives of future students. The final group consists of 15 students that will embark on the 1000km walk.

We recognise how vital the education of our generation (and every generation) is to build South Africa and believe that both public and private sector needs to address this issue.

Purpose:

The future of South Africa lies in the hands of its youth, and we echo what Nelson Mandela said, that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ We believe that education should be accessible to all.

The project aims to

–    Create awareness of the plight of students… struggling to access study funding and or cover living expenses.
–    To raise funds towards student bursaries and associated costs
–    To create hope for scholars aspiring to tertiary education, by sharing information on how and where to access study funding. It is a powerful message of hope if a current bursary beneficiary can share their story of success.
–    To create a platform for students to contribute to this cause

We will be partnered in this endeavor by StudyTrust, a national bursary organization with a track record of more than 40 years of empowering South Africa’s youth by linking potential to higher and further study opportunities.

Objective:

The objective, in short, is to walk from Wits University in Johannesburg to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth.  The total distance covered will be just over 1000km and will be tackled in a relay fashion, meaning that each group will walk 20km’s per day and each student a total of 333km’s.  A group of fifteen students, majority being current bursary beneficiaries, will depart early December 2016, to arrive at  Nelson Mandela University before Christmas. Twelve students will hike, with two handling the driving and another to provide logistical support, including media management.

The team will create awareness of options for further studies and various sources of accessing scholarships, bursaries and financial aid, by visiting a number of schools en route and providing information on how/where to access funding. Awareness will also be created via media activation and the project aims to receive donations from private individuals and corporate sponsors.

What would success look like?

–    Private sector companies commit annual investment towards tertiary education
–    Private individuals commit to support some students financially and in any other meaningful manner
–    Government recognises that we/the youth is entrepreneurial; the future of SA and deserves investment.
The project aims to collect at least R1000 for each kilometer covered.  This translates to a minimum of R1 000 000 of study funding.  We hope to exceed this benchmark by far!

StudyTrust Organisation:

All proceeds generated by this project will go directly to the national bursary organization StudyTrust. StudyTrust is a registered educational trust and an NSFAS NGO partner with over 40 years of experience and a BEE level 1 rating. StudyTrust was established to do something about unequal educational opportunities. The focus is on the young person with the potential for further and higher education, but without the opportunity. StudyTrust has aided >19 000 students with bursaries/scholarships with a remarkable average beneficiary success rate of 85%.

The collected funds, and project as a whole, aims to aid StudyTrust in achieving their goals of:
– Selecting qualifying individuals to sponsor.
– Funding their studies at universities, universities of technologies, agricultural colleges, and TVET colleges.
– Building supportive communities around these students during their academic careers.
– Facilitate their transition into the world of work.

Current investors include Standard Bank, Pick ‘n Pay, Investec, First National Bank, Coronation FundManagers, Prudential Portfolio Managers, Old Mutual Investment Group and Pioneer Foods.

For more information, please visit the StudyTrust website http://www.studytrust.org.za/.

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