We at Open Doors see education as the key to a brighter future. Students seeking higher education in under-served communities near Cape Town face tremendous social and financial barriers due to Apartheid's lingering scars of inequality. By partnering with local community leaders, we provide scholarships to promising, community-oriented students and encourage them to gain lifelong skills to help them, their families, and their communities escape the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Though Apartheid ended in 1994, economic and educational inequality still plagues disadvantaged South African populations. In the communities of Masiphumelele and Ocean View, the majority of residents are unemployed and only 20% of adults have completed high school. Students face daunting social and financial obstacles to pursuing a higher education. We help topple these barriers and make college a more viable option by providing scholarships for graduating secondary-school students.
We partner with teachers and community leaders from Masiphumelele and Ocean View to identify gifted secondary school students interested in attending college. Our selection process emphasizes a strong academic background, character, and desire to give back to the community. Our scholarships defray tuition and other educational costs making it more feasible for recipients to attend and succeed in college. Mandatory annual progress reports ensure accountability for funds.
Higher education is an essential tool for personal and community development. By making college more affordable for eight hardworking students committed to helping their friends, neighbors, and communities, we fuel their personal growth, empower them to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and give them the skills necessary to become leaders and role models in their communities. In future years, we hope to expand both the number and amount of our scholarships to maximize our impact.