In 2018 Samsung South Africa launched its ‘Empowering Tommorrow’ bursary initiative. Now in its third successful year, 21 Million Rands in bursaries have been awarded to deserving students, who have been able to pursue a career in the fields of electronics, engineering, commerce, retail, sales and marketing.
The bursaries were awarded to students of the University of Pretoria, North-West University, University of Johannesburg and the Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA), which is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Education, responsible for promoting skills development in the Gauteng City region.
The GCRA identifies and selects the deserving students and administers the bursaries on Samsung’s behalf. Each of the bursaries cover the cost of one year’s study in the student’s selected field at their preferred institution of higher learning, including the provision of books, accommodation, meals and electronic devices.
This is part of Samsung’s wide-ranging efforts to uplift learners and students in the country.
Almost a hundred youth from deserving communities have benefited each year from the bursary programme.
Additionally, the best-performing students get the opportunity to work at Samsung as part of a leadership programme, further preparing them for a career in the ICT sector.
The Samsung Empowering Tomorrow bursary initiative is aligned with Samsung’s global mission ‘Enabling People’, which is aimed at helping people discover and develop their innate potential.
Most of these students, although top performers in university, are unable to pay for their university education and there is no guarantee that they will qualify for the South African government’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The Empowering Tomorrow initiative provides welcome relief. In 2021, the beneficiaries of the Samsung bursary programme were also offered psycho social support.
This entails resilience training, life skills and support on how to meet social challenges that could affect their learning at university.
A very ambitious Ms. Mohau Mashilo is one one the students who benefited from the bursary programme. She says,
“I matriculated from Sutherland High School after being severely injured during my matriculation year. During that period, I was out of school for about five months and had to undergo over a dozen medical procedures, extensive physio therapy, learn how to walk again and how to regain mobility in my left hand. Unfortunately, over time, my left hand was declared disabled. I was however approved ready to return to school in September 2018, even though I had not fully recovered. Many encouraged me to postpone writing my matric exams to the following year. However, I was too determined to get to university. Much to my naysayers’ surprise, I received several distinctions at the end of my matric year. The GCRA and Samsung partnership could not have come a better time for my family and I. Initially, I was oblivious of our financial situation at home and always assumed that my parents would be able to pay for my fees. However, the unexpected accident crippled my parents financially as we had depleted our medical savings and all sorts of credit facilities had to be raised to finance the many medical bills. The offer to study in any field, and at a university of my choice enabled me to enroll for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Pretoria. I am proud to say that I have continuously performed well, consistently achieving at least six discintions in each year of my studies. I am now in my final year and am looking forward to furthering my studies to become Dr. Mohau Mashilo. I am grateful to my family who supported me during my recovery and to the GCRA and Samsung for the full bursary. Again, I say to my naysayers – look at me now!”
The Empowering Tomorrow bursary programme will continue to seek out resilient and talented students such as Ms. Mashilo.
The money will not only fund these students’ education, Samsung has also pledged to seek out possible employment opportunities for these deserving students. The on-going funding of students is dependent on the academic performance of the students as per the GCRA policy.
The bursary is awarded for one year but could be renewed annually subject to the academic performance of the bursary recipient.
“We are continuously working to build on and expand the programmes we offer to young people across South Africa. Samsung is still committed to improving the use of IT technology in education, providing access to smarter learning environments to support the students’ creativity and to reduce the digital divide. We continue to strive to reduce local education gaps and turn potential into power,”
says Hlubi Shivanda, Director: Business Innovation Group and Corporate Affairs at Samsung South Africa.
“We are pleased to announce that we will continue with the Samsung Bursary programme in 2021,”