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KUSAIDIANA TRUST PROVIDES OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISAN SKILLS TRAINING OR EDUCATION FOR BENEFICIARY STUDENTS WITH DIRE FINANCIAL NEEDS FROM AFRICA LIVING WITHIN THE NELSON MANDELA METROPOLE.

The trust is a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) through which businesses or individuals can provide contributions which will be used to provide financial assistance to beneficiary students with the purpose of enabling them to obtain an artisan skill or academic education. Through skills development and education, beneficiary students are empowered to work towards employment in meaningful careers which will help them to lead more significant lives, whereby they can improve not only their own circumstances, but also contribute positively to their families, their communities and ultimately the larger economy.

Background

The trust was founded in 2017, after the trust’s founder and her husband became aware of the immense need amongst young adults living in the inner city community of Port Elizabeth. They started to visit some of the families and became aware of the poverty under which so many of them live, which makes it very difficult for them to pursue their aspirations to study or obtain an artisan skill in order to fulfil their aspirations for a better life. Many of these individuals face immense challenges, for instance that they do not qualify for bursaries at university level, the increased university costs that international students face, living costs are in many cases higher in South Africa while they still need to send funds home to their families, and the onerous and costly process to obtain and renew the necessary work permits.

The life story of a young Zulu girl is heart-breaking and also contributed to the founder and her husband’s vision. This young girl comes from an extremely poor family and social background. She was studying towards her law studies at NMU (Nelson Mandela University) during 2016, and amongst other hardships, drank three litres of water on some days to ease the hunger whilst attending classes.

Once caught up within a cycle of poverty it becomes very difficult to break free. As a result many people eventually lose hope because they cannot fulfill their dreams or obtain a job, even though they may be talented and hard-working. Through the trust we aim to identify such people, give them hope and help them fulfill their aspirations. The name of the trust is derived from a Swahili expression that means “to support one another”.

What we do

The objectives of the trust are to:

  • Give financial assistance in the form of bursaries to beneficiary students from Africa, including South Africa, with dire financial needs, with the purpose of enabling them to obtain an artisan skill or tertiary academic education.
  • Provide, source or sponsor career counselling services and mentorship to support beneficiaries throughout their skills training or academic studies.
  • Partnerships are developed and maintained with communities in need and schools of proven excellence to identify potential candidates.
  • Businesses and individuals are approached individually and/or through marketing and fundraising initiatives in order to obtain donations to use in the pursuit of the trust’s objectives.

Candidates are chosen based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: they must be in dire need of financial assistance; they must be from Africa, including South Africa, and live within the Nelson Mandela Metropole, which comprises of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch; they must possess a valid identity document and, if applicable, a valid work permit; and they must demonstrate a positive and hard-working attitude and dedication to complete their studies or artisan training.

Application forms and supporting documents are considered by the board of trustees in order to shortlist candidates for further evaluation, which entails verifying all information provided and conducting personal interviews with shortlisted candidates prior to a final decision being made. Funds, in most instances, is paid directly to the institution concerned.

Career guidance is sourced or provided in order to inform beneficiary students of careers or particular artisan skills that are in high demand within the market, to assist them in making choices that will maximise their employability following completion of their studies or learning of an artisan skill. Career guidance is provided in light of beneficiaries’ preferences and the availability of specific academic study curriculums or artisan skills training programmes within the Nelson Mandela Metropole.

Mentorship is provided to beneficiaries throughout their studies or completion of artisan skills training, in which case mentorship may be provided by people in the workplace where students may be gaining practical experience, to assist them in completing their studies or trade training. In addition beneficiaries have to submit their results for evaluation on a periodic basis, which may lead to coaching sessions being provided as additional support.

Current projects and partnerships include the inner city community within Port Elizabeth and Solomon Mahlangu High School in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage. Further projects may be considered in line with the trust’s growth and expansion.