Barefoot Graduate

A path to higher education

Siphikhaya is one of 4 siblings, raised in a single-parent household supported by a modest childcare grant. Like the majority of children growing up in Peddie, Siphikhaya and his siblings are up in poverty, with very few positive role models. At the age of 14, a barefoot Siphikhaye, joined an in-school soccer programme facilitated by IYDSF.

The programme provided him with more than just a pair of boots. A sense of belonging, a series of life skills sessions, and opportunities to give back to the community, moulded him into a well-rounded young person with clear goals and aspirations.

As part of the IYDSF continuing education programme, Siphikaya graduated with an Honours Degree in Agriculture from the University of Fort Hare. He was the first student to benefit from a bursary facilitated and supported by IYDSF in partnership with CATHS SETA. CATHS SETA allows IYDSF to manage the bursary by monitoring and supporting the student’s progress through university. Siphikhaya was given academic targets to achieve each year. An IYDSF bursary officer, who would meet with him every month to check his progress and assess the challenges he was facing, and ensure that he had the support needed to succeed in his studies.

“Without the support offered by IYDSF, especially their monthly academic goals and progress checks, I don’t think that I would have been so successful in my studies”.

Siphikhaya, is currently employed as a grade 12 exam moderator and continues to give back to IYDSF through soccer coaching and mentoring. IYDSF hopes to partner with the CATHS SETA to fund the application of Siphikhaya’s learned skills in the promotion of sustainable food garden techniques in local schools.

This partnership has resulted in 7 graduates, with an additional 4 students starting their tertiary education journey in 2018.

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