The Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust’s (CRET) alumni are giving back and paying it forward with an initiative of their own, supporting deserving students just like they were once supported. Now in established careers as a result of the bursary and development support they received from CRET, the alumni have established their own CRET Alumni Fund. They have contributed and leveraged funding to support three students in university already. Now they have launched a crowdfunding initiative through BackaBuddy to boost the Alumni Fund and to support more students in need.
Donors will be able to make direct donations on CRET’s BackaBuddy page https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/cret. Additionally, each of CRET’s eight alumni will run their own individual sub-campaigns through their social media channels.
During a bursary support masterclass held in April this year, it was noted that university retention and pass rates in South Africa are low. Research indicates that 33% of students enrolled in a four-year degree will drop out and less than a third of students manage to complete their tertiary education in the minimum allocated time. The loss of and dropout from learning will continue if active citizenship is not part of the solution to mitigate the challenges faced at all levels of learning.
“It is clear that a bursary for tuition alone is not enough, Chantelle Oosthuizen, CRET executive director said.” That is the gap the CRET alumni through the BackaBuddy campaign are hoping to close. They are working on paying it forward by assisting current beneficiaries with more than just tuition funding but ensuring that other developmental areas of their personal lives and academic careers are nurtured so that they successfully complete their studies or training”, she said.
CRET implements a holistic bursary support programme that offers students’ academic and skills development support, career guidance, psycho-social support, soft skills training, and ongoing mentorship to ensure real throughput success.
“This holistic support mitigates the high drop-out rate and guarantees well-rounded graduates who possess key skills to contribute to the economy and society,” Cyril Madiba, chairperson of CRET’s Alumni Advisory Board said.” “And as this initiative shows,” he added, “CRET also encourages the ethos of ‘giving back’, developing committed civic-minded students.”