Established in 2011, University of Cape Town’s 100UP programme addresses the problem of demographic under-representation in higher education by targeting school learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and coaching them towards university access. Since inception the initiative has worked with over 2 500 learners from various disadvantaged communities across Cape Town, assisting them to gain exposure to the university.
The programme recently launched the 100UP’s fundraising campaign to raise much needed funds to support its social responsibility initiative that works to expose learners from disadvantaged communities to life after high school.Programme Manager and Education Specialist, Ferial Parker said: “Our project is one of UCT’s flagship programmes. It seeks to address the low numbers of disadvantaged children from marginalised communities in the Western Cape who enter university.
“Unfortunately due to the ongoing pandemic, our corporate funders have had to reluctantly withdraw from the programme, citing the present unstable financial climate as the primary reason.However, we wanted to keep uplifting the youth of South Africa, especially now more than ever. That is why we embarked on this journey to encourage and motivate potential donors to support us in any way they can” added Parker.
The fundraising campaign will focus on sourcing donors to sponsor individual learners, and support residential camps, Saturday tuition programmes and outreach programmes.“Every little bit helps and we would welcome any donation that will help us to continue this important work in communities in the Western Cape,” added Parker.
Former 100UP participant and first year civil engineering student Xolani Sihange said: “My experience with 100UP was very fruitful. It was honestly the lifeline I didn’t know I needed until I became a part of the programme.Every component of the initiative was useful and amazing, from the tutoring sessions they hosted for our benefit to the career guidance workshops at the university that helped me decide what I wanted to study. I’m truly grateful to the programme and would love to see it continue to grow and assist more young people from underprivileged communities”.