Masandise Study Aid is a small non-profit organisation that helps impoverished students who would otherwise not be able to attain any form of tertiary education. Apart from financial aid, Masandise assigns a mentor for each student to provide personal, emotional, as well as academic support in lieu of often lacking parental support. Since 2006 169 students have been assisted.
Masandise mentors act as surrogate parents, advising and helping students in various ways. At present about Black 30students are funded and given personal, academic and emotional guidance where needed. Close on 100 have reached independence. A small minority fell out over time. Most persevere. Masandise changes lives!
How does Masandise Study Aid work?
Who are our beneficiaries?
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 they 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 do not comprise a fixed sum, but are awarded according to need. A committee of volunteers serves as mentors, each guiding up to 10 individual students. All contributions go toward aiding these virtually indigent young people: A sponsor’s treasurer handles the money and the mentors serve voluntarily; hence there are no overhead costs.
What do our students need?
Most South African students qualify for State aid (NSFAS loans). Tuition is free, but students’ transport or lodgings are not. Most also need money for food. Laptop computers are indispensable. Final year students need driving lessons. Undergraduate Zimbabwean students get no state aid. We help where we can. Under lockdown, students’ needs increase: distance learning involves telephone “data” or a computer dongle accessing university or college websites.
What We Do
Mentors strive to build a relaxed, open and respectful relationship with the student which creates a sense of belonging for the student. Mentors assist students by providing a broader base from which students then make their own autonomous decisions. Regular one-on-one meetings with students were difficult during the lockdown period. Luckily, with social media, we could keep contact and assisted where necessary.
The name of the former Moederkerk Bursary Fund was changed in 2016 to Masandise Study Aid.Our Xhosa name, ‘Let us help grow,’ reflects the fact that mentoring, as well as financial aid to indigent students, is very much part of its brief.
The aim of Masandise Study Aid is to assist poor and disadvantaged youngsters to acquire skills and tertiary qualifications that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.Study Aid’ implies that mentoring and financial support are equally important.
Masandise is managed and operated by volunteers who devote their time and efforts without any remuneration. This means that every cent collected by Masandise is utilised for the benefit of the students who are supported by Masandise. We are really excited by the achievements and prospects of Masandise, especially in its new context within Stellumthombo. We know that it is a worthwhile corporate social investment. The old saying of giving a man a fishing line instead of a fish still holds true today.
How You Can Get Involved
Spread the word
Tell all your friends and place a link to this website on your Facebook / Instagram / Twitter feeds.
By contributing, you are giving an individual a chance to a better life. The wonderful thing about helping someone obtain a qualification is not only that it allows them to get a gainful education, but in most cases, it also breaks the cycle of poverty in the family.
We unlock potential through mentorship
Mentors strive to build a relaxed, open and respectful relationship with the student which creates a sense of belonging for the student. Mentors assist students by providing a broader base from which students then make their own autonomous decisions.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.