Life funds for learning
The trust is funded 80% by Old Mutual and 20% by Nedbank Namibia. The combined amount of the 2014 bursaries is N$430,000 and is divided amongst the ten students for fields of study that are deemed critical to the country’ development. The students are from Oshana, Okavango, Zambezi, Oshikoto, Hardap and Karas regions. The bursaries cover the students’ first year of study, but can be renewed every year depending on academic progress and merit.
Since inception in 2008, a total of 3496 students have applied for bursaries from the trust and only 60 bursaries were awarded, including the 2014 bursaries. This year, over 700 applications were received for the ten available bursaries. Of the 50 bursaries awarded from 2008 to 2013, 16 beneficiaries have already graduated, with five having graduated in medicine.
Bursaries are awarded to members of Trade Unions or their dependents who have proven to be excellent learners excelling academically.
The 2014 recipients will study at different tertiary institutions in both Namibia and South Africa which include the University of Namibia, the Polytechnic of Namibia, Nelson Mandela University and the University of Pretoria. Fields of study for 2014 includes commerce, accounting, maritime law, architecture, engineering, science and statistics. One of the trust’s recepient is Grant Olivier, a 27-year old medical officer at the Katutura State Hospital. Olivier, who is now an orthopaedic assistant, graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2010 and did a two-year internship at both Katutura State Hospital and Windhoek Central Hospital before becoming a medical officer this year. Originally from Rehoboth, Olivier said that he was first awarded N$1500 from Old Mutual for being the best student in Business Science. He said although he never really wanted to study medicine, it was by chance that he pursued a career in medicine. He said it was by God’s grace that he managed to get a bursary from Old Mutual and successfully complete his studies and thanked the team for its support.
Olivier urged the beneficiaries to study hard to successful in their studies. “My formula for success is, Start a love relationship with God because God is light and light is vision. A goal, a plan and descipline will lead to success,” he advised the students.