An Alumni Meeting for our Bursary Graduates

Last week Masicorp held its first ever alumni event for the graduates of our bursary scheme at the Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands. Since its inception the scheme has produced 17 graduates and we were pleased that the majority of them could join us on the evening. With graduates in disciplines ranging from biotechnology to accountancy and town planning we certainly had a lot of academic knowledge shared with us.

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Many thanks to our patron Dame Linda Dobbs, who was our speaker for the evening and congratulated the graduates on their success. She also took the time to remind everyone that as well as becoming graduates they have also become role models for the community of Masiphumelele. Their success has shown everyone what can be achieved through hard work and study and that education really is the route out of poverty.

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Events such as this are also great networking opportunities and Dame Linda informed the graduates of the benefits of networking by recalling some examples from her own career as a high court judge in the UK. Last week’s event was an opportunity for graduates to network with each other and with Masicorp staff. We are already very grateful for the contacts provided by our graduates working in the local government that may be able to assist us with funding in the future.

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With a further 25 students currently studying at university and the programme having grown in size in recent years this is a group that is sure to expand in size. We are already looking forward to the next event and to welcome the next batch of graduates to the group.

The final word on this year’s event comes from BA Psychology graduate, Thulisa Mayekiso, who left us this message the following day:

Thulisa smallYesterday I was reminded that I am special, educated, innovative and caring. That I am a role model to others.

And that I should be motivating others, modelling and encouraging.

In all that, I learned that I am blessed to be where I am today and I look forward to blessing others and help them find themselves as well as getting out of the situations they are facing.

I just want to say if I made it you can make it too, we all grew up in Masi, went to the same school facing the same challenges. All you need to do is to get up and find meaning for your life.

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A Visit from our Patron, Dame Linda Dobbs

Earlier this week we were delighted to receive a visit from our patron, Dame Linda Dobbs. Dame Linda made history when she became Britain’s first non-white High Court judge, and has been a generous supporter of Masicorp for many years. Having recently retired she had the opportunity to visit Masicorp, which is just one of the many development projects she is involved in across Africa.

We began her day by taking her around the Chasmay Road campus, location of the Sewing Café as well as several other interesting NGO’s and business ventures working with the community of Masiphumelele. Special thanks to Appshed and Justice Dolls for taking the time to show Dame Linda around their work. Dame Linda spent most of her time on campus learning about the Sewing Café, and she met several of the current intake of new adult learners. We are pleased to report that business was booming at the time, with a large order of children’s dresses being prepared by past graduates.

LD5Dame Linda was here to collect another batch of track suits for the children of Ukhanyo School. After a brief stopover at the refurbished library it was over to the school where the tracksuits were to be handed over. It was an awful wet day, and the need for the tracksuits was clear for all to see as the rain and wind of a Cape winter chilled everyone. Dame Linda took the time to offer each student a few words of encouragement as they came up to collect their track suits from her.

LD14There was also time to meet the staff at the science lab, and view the student’s technology projects from earlier this year – a selection of brightly designed cell phone towers. Dame Linda was honest enough to admit that science was not her best subject, but she was clearly impressed with both the facilities and motivation of the staff. We hope that she will be able to find time for many more visits to our projects in the future, and thank her once again for the financial support that has helped us to kit out the students with warm clothes this winter.