Over the past few years, we have developed an Education Sponsorships Program as we’ve encountered promising high school graduates and recognised opportunities to help further their studies. Since 2016, we’ve sponsored eight high school graduates to attend various tertiary education programs in South Africa, ranging from skills colleges to undergraduate and master’s level programs. These students come from impoverished backgrounds, oftentimes having lost one or both parents to HIV. All of our beneficiaries have been the first in their family to attend a tertiary program.
Our sponsorships include financial support to cover all costs related to applying to different programs, guidance throughout the application process, guardian style support when dealing with the academic institution, a monthly stipend for living expenses, transportation stipends to get to and from school and to transport parents to graduation, and career help after graduation to develop a CV and help find opportunities for employment.
We have helped students enrol in high school, college, university, and we have connected students with work and volunteering experience in their own communities. We have also worked with families of students to help ensure stable home environments conducive to academic success.
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Happy International Women’s Day! Today feels like a good day to tell the story of Asanda, the young woman sharing a smile with her niece in this photo. Asanda has been instrumental in our work in Langbos these past few years, and her story illustrates the potential that arises when women are given more opportunities to achieve. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We first met Asanda when she generously helped organize our first community meetings in Langbos in 2015. In 2016, she tirelessly guided us through winding paths and countless homes as we collected survey data from hundreds of Langbos families together. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Last year, Asanda spearheaded our education sponsorship program as she bravely left home to study at the South Africa College for Tourism-- as the first woman from Langbos to attend college. Over the course of the year, she gracefully took on the challenges of the new experience, rising to every occasion and excelling in her studies. By the end of the program, she had not only passed her courses but also finished with the top marks in her class. Her performance secured her paid position in a five-star hotel this year, as well as the opportunity to complete an upcoming internship abroad in Italy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Words aren't enough to express how much Asanda has inspired us. She's done so much to uplift herself and her community, and she's created incredible results out of every opportunity presented to her. She's improved her own condition and set a new standard of what's possible for young women in Langbos to achieve. Already, two young women are following in her footsteps this year studying at the SA College for Tourism, and we know this is only the beginning. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Asanda's journey is just one of many inspiring stories we have encountered in our work. Our projects are all about creating opportunities for individuals to improve their lives, and stories like Asanda's demonstrate the incredible results that come from these increased opportunities. We are humbled to know inspiring women like Asanda, and we are proud to support women's empowerment through our work. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #InternationalWomensDay #WomensDay ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo by @kavo_r
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After finishing #1 in her class at the South Africa College for Tourism, our education sponsee Asanda is now abroad in Italy as part of a paid internship! We are so proud of Asanda and inspired by her hard work and accomplishments. As the first woman from Langbos to attend college, she has certainly blazed an incredible trail. Already, two young women from Langbos have followed in her footsteps, studying and successfully graduating from the South Africa College for Tourism. We’re currently building out plans to expand our Education Sponsorship program and look forward to sharing more soon!
Intsikelelo is also a recruiter for the SA College for Tourism.
The SA College for Tourism was established in 2001 by Dr Anton Rupert, renowned financier and philanthropist and at the time chairman of Peace Parks Foundation, in partnership with international agencies and public donors. The college operates under the auspices of Peace Parks Foundation and, like the foundation, supports the principles of responsible tourism while minimising exploitation. It is the first training centre in southern Africa to focus its training programmes on the development of operational and management skills for the lodge and guesthouse industry. In addition, it offers courses in the age-old skill of wildlife tracking to preserve this precious indigenous knowledge. Every year 90 young women and 16 young men – all unemployed and from impoverished rural backgrounds – are sponsored for a year-long training course in hospitality service skills and tracking skills respectively. For more information visit peaceparks.co.za.