Triple-layered educational packages to learners

2018-08-02 06:00
=Sovereign Foods CEO Chris Coombes (right) and Group Executive Human Resources Thuto Maepa (third from left) with the learners who were awarded scholarships and bursaries at an event held in Uitenhage. The scholarship recipients are (from left) Kezia Mtila and Siyabulela Loro both from V.M. Kwinana Senior Secondary School in KwaNobuhle and Onodwa Jantjies and Zandile Satiti both from Rocklands Intermediate School.                     Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

=Sovereign Foods CEO Chris Coombes (right) and Group Executive Human Resources Thuto Maepa (third from left) with the learners who were awarded scholarships and bursaries at an event held in Uitenhage. The scholarship recipients are (from left) Kezia Mtila and Siyabulela Loro both from V.M. Kwinana Senior Secondary School in KwaNobuhle and Onodwa Jantjies and Zandile Satiti both from Rocklands Intermediate School. Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

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SOVEREIGN Foods showed its commitment to long-term sustainable development of youth after surprising four academically-deserving, but financial needy learners from Uitenhage-based schools with scholarship and bursary awards.

Sovereign Foods engaged six schools in communities with levels of high income inequality, unemployment and poverty in Uitenhage. The recipients were selected following dialogue sessions with Uitenhage school principals to identify students, and then followed a formal assessment process based purely on academic performance through official academic transcripts and level of need based on family circumstances.

Sovereign Foods awarded an amount of R10 000 in scholarships to each Grade 12 learner to cover the cost of the remainder of their current matric year giving much-needed hope and motivation.

The learners who were surprised with the news were Siyabulela Loro and Kezia Mtila both from V.M. Kwinana Senior Secondary School in Kwanobuhle and Onodwa Jantjies and Zandile Satiti both from Rocklands Intermediate School.
Tertiary education surprise

Following the scholarship announcement, Sovereign Foods’ CEO Chris Coombes informed the learners that the company would also contribute towards their tertiary education and that the students will also have the opportunity to take part in the Sovereign Foods Graduate Development Programme. This programme will give them, as young graduates, the chance to gain valuable work experience in one of the many departments at Sovereign Foods.

The learners, their parents and guardians and school staff were unaware of the announcements.

Siyabulela Loro, 17 years old, from V.M. Kwinana High School was “very excited and speechless” when he was informed about the support he will receive from Sovereign Foods. He lives with his aunt in Kwanobuhle and is basically supported through the SASSA grant.

“I want to study accounting one day and have applied to different universities. The scholarship will help this year with paying for additional maths classes, groceries at home because one can’t go to school and focus if you are hungry,” said Loro.

Another V.M. Kwinana Grade 12 learner, Kezia Mtila, said she was excited and happy. Kezia would like to study law.

“This was so unexpected. I am pleased that my hard work and sacrifices have been recognized and I hope to do better in the future,” Kezia said.

Onodwa Jantjies, a Grade 12 learner at Rocklands Intermediate School called the support from Sovereign Foods “huge”. She would like to study to be a psychiatrist.

Her mother Nosizwe Jantjies is a single mom and in addition to the social grant they receive, occasionally sells cosmetic products to survive.

“It is very difficult at home. This support from Sovereign Foods means a lot. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. There is definitely a need for this type of support,” said Nosizwe.

Zandile Satiti a Grade 12 learner at Rocklands Intermediate aid, “when I heard about the scholarship and the bursary I was totally excited and emotional.

“It will also help with groceries at home because it is difficult to focus in school when you are hungry.

“My sister who is the only breadwinner in the house came with me and we both cried when we heard the good news,” said Zandile who wants to study business management.

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