Update on the Beyond Self Scholarship Program

Bettering Children's Lives
by Vusi Kweyama

More than 30 families from my community and neighbouring communities produced 3,500 beadwork bracelets for Monash University’s "10,000 Steps Challenge 2009" campaign. Thanks go to Ubuhle Be Valley (The Beauty of the Valley) Project, which I founded and continue to lead.
That one large order of bracelets made a huge difference in the lives of unemployed and struggling families in our Valley of 1000 Hills. In addition, the 10,000 Steps Challenge donated money made from this order to MUFESA.
The Beyond Self Scholarship Program (BSSP) welcomes its first arrival of scholarship students. Thabile Mngadi, grade 11 (11th year), BSSP's first high school student scholarship recipient, hopes this scholarship will take her through her university education. This first scholarship is a result of the 10,000 Steps Challenge beadwork order. And with the help of Wayne and Michelle Staunton, Andrea Pearman, and the whole team for their financial donations, BSSP bought school uniforms for 23 kids at the Thokomala Children’s Home for one year.
If you know a student who is a South African resident of KwaNyuswa needing a scholarship to continue her or his education, please provide the parents with a copy of the latest BSSP application form.
It is absolutely amazing to see how basic indigenous skills and talents can be turned into income-generating projects amidst today’s economic recession now devastating the whole world. I believe that Africa’s development will stem from local initiatives, driven by locals in partnership with the rest of the world.
On behalf of the Ubuhle Be Valley Project, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to several key people: the 10,000 Steps Challenge participants and organisers; Professor Simon Adams; Andrea Pearman and her team members, Steve, Graeme, and Irene Pearman; Alan O’Neil; Malcome Beattie; and Wayne and Michelle Staunton, for their combined contributions to this amazing initiative.

Vusi Kweyama
(On behalf of the Beyond Self Scholarship Program)