Thirteen is a lucky number for some people in the Tsantsa-bane district as thirteen de-serving young people received bur-saries from Kolomela mine to further their studies in 2018.
These students join last year's ele-ven bursary winners who are cur-rently studying at universities or TVET colleges.
The thirteen students received their letters of acceptance at a special ceremony on 26 January 2018, which was attended by Mr C Sehako from the Department of Education, the mayor of Tsantsaba-ne municipality councillor Maria Da-niels, and ward councillor Estelle Poto.
Sharing in the overall R1,5-million bursary value are Lesego Binang, Magdel Du Plooy, Fiona Lodewyk, Mapule Matsepane, Ntombikhona Mtetweni, Lehlohonolo Olyn, Ronal-dinho Roux and Refilwe Sello who are all enrolled at university. Atten-
ding the TVET colleges are Deliswa Nkune, Izelle Stlhodi, Lungisani Di-di, Malebo Mokwenyane and Queen De Bruin.
The bursaries cover registration and tuition fees, books, a laptop, ac-commodation and living allowan-ces, which relieves the students of any financial concerns and enables them to focus on their studies.
Councillor Maria Daniels gratefully acknowledged Kolomela's contribu-tion “Together with Kolomela we need to invest in the future of our young people so they are able to be-come better change agents and champions in life. We would like to see returns on these bursary invest-ments. To the learners I say, the fu-ture is in your hands, do not let us down.”
“When the mine conducted its so-cio-impact study in Tsantsabane in 2015, we found the level of educa-tion in the area to be very low,” says George Benjamin, Kolomela's Pub-lic Affairs manager. “Young people found it extremely difficult to enter the labour market and contribute to the economy of the area because they did not have the necessary skills.”
Education and skills development became a focus area within the mine's community development strategy. “Our objective is to work with our key education stakeholders to create an enabling learning envi-ronment for the toddlers entering our early childhood development pro-grammes all the way through the education pipeline to those deser-ving students entering tertiary stu-dy.”
At the same ceremony on 26 Jan-
uary, all the grade 1 learners from nine primary schools received their own schoolbags from Kolomela, filled with the necessary items for the year ahead. The young learners were also exposed to Monkeynastix - a unique movement education pro-gramme geared towards children under the age of eight and which en-courages them to explore and dis-cover the world through their senses and their bodies. It also wires their minds for academic success as they learn through movement.
“We believe in the potential of ev-ery single child here today and we support this belief with our two fa-vourite education projects that we celebrate today, ie the back to school campaign and the Kolomela mine community bursary scheme,” says George Benjamin.
Mr C Sehako, area circuit mana-ger, implored everyone to make a habit of teaching children to read, and to touch books. “Let us track down learners who require assis-tance and not wait until it is too late.
“The late Nelson Mandela said: 'Education is the great engine of per-sonal development. It is through ed-ucation that the daughter of a pea-sant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that the child of a farm worker can become the presi-dent of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.'
“To Kolomela mine, I don't have enough words of appreciation. Thank you, you are our partner. Let's grow our children together and make them better leaders of tomorrow.”