Having partnered with various South African universities, BBD is incredibly proud to launch the Ukukhula Bursary Fund this Youth Month for talented IT students who lack the financial backing needed to complete their studies in South Africa.
In the midst of a turbulent economic landscape, unprecedented unemployment and socio-economic division, education remains a key enabler for skills development, allowing each individual to make a positive contribution to their families, communities and the economy.
“This fund is an extension of our current bursary programme, aiming to further improve the country by providing financial support to those who need it, while in turn addressing some of the challenges the country faces” explains BBD executive Thabang Ledwaba.
Earmarking an initial R3 million for the fund, we believe it is crucial to support higher learning institutions, empowering them with the ability to impact as many students as possible, especially those coming from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Different to our Bursary & Beyond Programme where the students apply themselves, the Ukukhula Bursary Fund partners with appropriate engineering departments at various universities. Here, the lecturers and department heads who inherently have relationships with the students and understand their academic journeys, apply for funding from BBD on the student’s behalf. “Our continued partnership with these higher education institutions has seen us identify a great pool of young and talented individuals who come into our business and become the leaders of tomorrow, while in turn changing their lives through employment” says Ledwaba. This would not be possible without the ear to the ground that the universities have.
He goes on to say that “The company, and myself as an individual, are deeply passionate about growing the tech space within this country, and this fund is an extension of our efforts to eliminate the financial dependency students face when striving for a proper education. We want to change as many lives as possible, and bring the best of the best into the industry from every corner of the country!”
Speaking to the fund, BBD’s CIO Tony van der Linden remarks that BBD is fortunate to be in a position where we can support such initiatives. “Ukukhula means to grow in Zulu, and that’s exactly what we’re focusing on doing. This bursary fund is just another way we as a company are able to leverage our growth to uplift those in need, developing individuals who can one day change the world”.