University is one of the most crucial steps for students to become qualified for future employment and/or to gain a knowledge base to start grass root business or outreach services for their communities. It is a great achievement. In Mpumalanga, South Africa, less than 1% of students will actually be able to attain university, not necessarily because they did not get good enough grades. Often times, it is lacking the extra money it takes to travel to their secondary school far away or sometimes it is simply not having the money for the university application fees, or living expenses required to attend university. Unlike the United States, it is rare in Africa for university students to find work while attending university. But, with quite minimal assistance, there are many students that could actually pull themselves and their families out of poverty by earning a university education.
In South Africa it costs about $1,000 total to prepare a student in the transition from secondary (high school) education to university. We currently have five students in South Africa that are in need of this support in 2012 and five more scheduled to graduate in 2013. Most orphans and vulnerable students are eligible to receive financial aid from the government that will cover tuition, room & board for a 4-year degree. But they need help with the costs of applying to universities, taking national exams, physically moving there, and living expenses during the week-long registration process. Each youth given this chance will have such an amazing opportunity to affect the future of so many others. We are committed to do our utmost to select those youth that have not only shown effort and motivation to attend university, but that have specific goals of what they will do with their education to assist the lives of others upon employment.