Masandise is the Xhosa word for “Let us help grow.”
With the motto, “A passion for the possible,” Masandise
Study Aid is a system of financial, social and academic support for extremely
impoverished young people to enable them to undergo tertiary training. Mentors
act as surrogate parents, each guiding between one and ten individual students,
doing what more affluent parents do for their own children, advising and
helping them in various ways. The important contribution of the mentors to the
social and physical wellbeing of students, as well as mentors’ care for
students’ academic needs, is what makes the programme so successful.
Aspirant beneficiaries come to our attention in various ways, through a local headmaster or social worker, often through a friend already on our books. The criterion for aid is that candidates must be very poor. Many are orphans. We visit the candidate’s home and make an assessment of need. If they are still at school, they receive career guidance and get helped with application to a tertiary institution (after they have themselves gone to find out more during a holiday).
Bursaries covering registration and books, food, often transport or rent, do not comprise a fixed sum, but are awarded according to need. As a rare exception, some class fees may also be covered, but in general students’ State loans are merely augmented by the Fund.
All donor contributions go toward aiding these virtually indigent young people. Masandise does not have any paid employees, only volunteer mentors; hence there are no overhead costs. Financial administration falls under the auspices of Stellumthombo. Without our aid, many such students would have given way to despair.
Masandise changes lives!