The strict selection criteria applied for SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Education Trust bursaries is paying dividends with one beneficiary completing her university studies last year and another two now busy with four year medical studies.
The Trust is the brainchild of SANDF Chief, General Solly Shoke, and is now in its sixth year of existence providing bursaries and scholarships to children of SANDF members who died while on duty. Its formation was initially spurred by the deaths of South African soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR) and a fatal SA Air Force (SAAF) helicopter crash in the Kruger National Park in 2013.
Another achievement by an Education Trust scholarship holder announced this week is a primary school scholar who has been selected as head girl at her school.
Seven more beneficiaries have been added to the Trust list of those receiving financial support for this year. Five of them are primary school scholars with one each from secondary and tertiary level. Two new applications have been received and verified. They emanate from Operation Boleas in 1998, at that time democratic South Africa’s first foray into peacekeeping operations in the landlocked mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
Bursaries and scholarships awarded for the current educational year are 47 at primary school level, 25 at secondary school and 20 at tertiary education level. The total value of bursaries is just short of R1.6 million.
Donations to the Trust for the financial year that ended on 28 February totalled R 2 033 301.
The SANDF this week announced the Premier Soccer League pledged a R1 million donation every year to the Education Trust. The PSL donated previously including a R1 million donation two years ago.