The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Education Trust has this year made bursaries available to 90 scholars and students across the education spectrum, 16 more than last year.
The bursaries issued across primary, secondary and tertiary education levels are worth R1.7 million in total and include two “star performers” according to Trust patron Major General Roy Andersen.
The star performers are a pair of students studying medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
“They are both in their second year and doing well,” he said, adding the Trust was on the receiving end of a R55 000 donation from Aspen Pharmacare, earmarked specifically for university students studying toward a degree in medicine.
“We are still hard at work to make the Trust self-sustaining and have nothing but appreciation and thanks for donors and sponsors who continue to assist us in reaching this stage,” Major General Roy Andersen, a Trust patron said.
Recent major contributions to the Trust have come from the Mayor of Johannesburg’s golf day (R363 000), the C SANDF Ladies golf day (R80 000) and the 2016 edition of Africa Aerospace and Defence (R63 000). All told as of the end of the 2017/18 financial year on February 28 this year there was R7.5 million in the Trust and Andersen is keen to see this grow to the stage where the fund can be self-sustaining.
The Trust was established by SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke to assist the families of soldiers and civilian Department of Defence and SANDF employees killed or injured during the execution of their duties after 27 April 1994.
The Trust actively works on locating young men and women who will benefit from bursaries via a campaign across all four SANDF services.
“I am pleased we are reaching more qualifying beneficiaries,” he said, adding the children of deceased and severely injured soldiers deserve to be properly educated.