With a vision of providing the youth with opportunities for quality education, members of the 1965Ride who cycle between Johannesburg and Komani to raise funds to offer financial aid to deserving scholars, awarded two pupils with bursaries through the Queenstown Education Foundation.
Founder Tony Frost said the 1965Ride which will go on its 10th edition in 2020 had raised around R6million from contributions made by locals and people around the world.
“My heart and soul resides in this place, I have deep roots in this town. When I came back for the Queen’s College reunion in 2010, I realised that this town had so much talent. We had to create a way to harness it. The education initiative started at Queen’s and Queenstown Girls’ High School and within year it transitioned to something more than just that. The schools bought into the idea of a unified community to turn Komani into a centre of education excellence. There has been amazing and exciting progress, especially in areas like IT infrastructure, new innovative teaching measures and engaging pupils in developing their creativity,” said Frost.
Queenstown Education Foundation director, Andrew Alt, said the vision was to be inclusive and expand by reaching out to many schools in Komani. “One of the unique things about the foundation is that it is a collaboration between government and independent schools and the vision is to expand.”
Alt indicated that the foundation had awarded nine bursaries this year worth R11 000 each to school accounts for identified pupils who strive for excellence in their studies. More than a hundred bursaries had been awarded since the foundation’s inception. “The bursary committee looks at the child’s potential, their contribution and leadership skills and we decide on who actually needs the money most. We journey along with the scholars and try to build a relationship and maintain contact with them.”
“We are creating bursar ambassadors who will have the responsibility of sharing the foundation’s value system,” added Frost.
One of the recipients,14-year-old Emihle Ngeva a grade 9 Hangklip High pupil who lives with her grandparents, said she was not aware that her uncle had applied to the foundation. “It feels so surreal because a big load has been lifted off my parents’ shoulders. Everyone at home is ecstatic and I thank everyone who is involved in this project.”
Grade 11 Girls’ High scholar Anita Mgaleli said she had previously attempted to apply for the funding and was delighted to be one of the recipients. Mgaleli, who lost her mother last year, said the application was made by Avuyile Mali who was mentored by her late mother. “He saw this as an opportunity to give back. Since my mother’s passing, things have been a bit rocky, but this funding has brought relief to the financial strain. Such initiatives are important because they help young people who have the ambition to further their studies to reach their dreams without having to think about financial burdens,” said Mgaleli.