Sovereign Foods showed its commitment to long-term sustainable development of youth after surprising four academically-deserving, but financial needy learners from Uitenhage-based schools with scholarship and bursary awards.
Sovereign Foods engaged six schools in communities with levels of high income inequality, unemployment and poverty in Uitenhage. The recipients were selected following dialogue sessions with Uitenhage school principals to identify students, and then followed a formal assessment process based purely on academic performance through official academic transcripts and level of need based on family circumstances.
Sovereign Foods awarded an amount of R10 000 scholarships to each grade 12 learner in Phase one to cover the cost of the remainder of their current matric year giving much-needed hope and motivation.
The learners who were surprised with the news were Siyabulela Loro and Kezia Mtila both from V.M. Kwinana Senior Secondary School in Kwanobuhle and Onodwa Jantjies and Zandile Satiti both from Rocklands Intermediate School.
Following the scholarship announcement, Sovereign Foods’ CEO Chris Coombes informed the learners that the company would also contribute towards their tertiary education and that the students will also have the opportunity to take part in the Sovereign Foods Graduate Development Programme. This programme will give them, as young graduates, the chance to gain valuable work experience in one of the many departments at Sovereign Foods.
The learners, their parents and guardians and school staff were unaware of the announcements.
Siyabulela Loro, 17 years old, from V.M. Kwinana High School was “very excited and speechless” when the he was informed about the support he will receive from Sovereign Foods. He lives with his aunt in Kwanobuhle and is basically supported through the SASSA grant.
“I am happy that Sovereign Foods is ploughing back into the community and that I am one of those benefitting. This is a complete surprise to me. I want to study accounting one day and have applied to different universities. The scholarship will help this year with paying for additional maths classes, groceries at home because one can’t go to school and focus if you are hungry. I also would like to buy a laptop which I will need for homework and can use next year,” said Loro.
Another V.M. Kwinana grade 12 learner, Kezia Mtila, said she was excited and happy. Kezia would like to study law.