Pupils work to help those less for­tu­nate at­tend univer­sity

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Ca­m­ag­wini Mavo­vana mavo­vanac@times­me­dia.co.za

IN­SPIRED by the #FeesMustFall move­ment, school­girl Abby Sieber­ha­gen has come up with an in­no­va­tive project that will now see one of her peers re­ceive a bur­sary.

De­ter­mined to help, Pear­son High School pupil Sieber­ha­gen, 17, came up with a cam­paign called Rent-A-Stu­dent.

She said many young­sters were strug­gling to find fund­ing for ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, es­pe­cially those who fell into the so­called “miss­ing mid­dle” – stu­dents whose fam­i­lies were not poor enough to gain fund­ing through the Na­tional Stu­dent Fi­nan­cial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or wealthy enough to af­ford the fees. So, in con­junc­tion with her fel­low Ju­nior City Coun­cil mem­bers she de­cided to cre­ate a plat­form where young­sters could help their peers.

She said: “I gave pro­pos­als to var­i­ous schools. These pupils had to pro­vide acts of ser­vice for some­one they know and ask for do­na­tions. Each school could ap­proach it dif­fer­ently but the main pur­pose was to raise enough money to send a pupil to univer­sity.”

Pear­son man­aged to raise R15 000 while Wes­ter­ing High se­cured R9 000.

With do­na­tions com­ing in from other schools, in­clud­ing Vic­to­ria Park High, Grey High, Cape Re­cife, DF Mal­herbe and Link­side High, the to­tal amount col­lected was R30 000.

“This has been an amaz­ing learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and an in­spir­ing ex­am­ple of what the youth of Port El­iz­a­beth are ca­pa­ble of,” Sieber­ha­gen said.

DF Mal­herbe grade 11 pupil Daniella Rec­chia, 17, un­der­took 13 hours of ser­vice and raised R1 000 by her­self.

“I spent my hours help­ing fam­ily mem­bers with var­i­ous tasks, giv­ing pedi­cures and babysit­ting. I pre­sented the project to my school on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions in as­sem­bly.

“I sup­ported this project be­cause I felt it was the right thing to do. It gives some­one the op­por­tu­nity to study who would oth­er­wise not have had the op- por­tu­nity to do so,” Rec­chia said.

JCC mem­ber and Wes­ter­ing High grade 11 pupil Shan­non Earnest, 17, ran the project at her school and was proud of the amount they raised.

“With the help of many oth­ers I was able to make the Rent– A-Stu­dent ini­tia­tive avail­able for all grades.

“We re­ally saw Rent-A-Stu­dent as a way to help some­one in need by just giv­ing an hour or two of our time,” Earnest said.

Sieber­ha­gen said a suit­able can­di­date to take up the bur­sary would be cho­sen at the end of Au­gust.

She said their ul­ti­mate goal was to cover first-year tu­ition at NMMU for R35 000.

REACH­ING OUT: Pear­son High pupil Abby Sieber­ha­gen is in­spir­ing fel­low pupils to raise funds for a bur­sary for a de­serv­ing stu­dent

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