Simphiwe and his work in progress
Dear Open Doors Supporters:
This summer, we were thrilled to receive over 20 applications for the 2011 Open Doors Foundation Scholarship! This is nearly 7 times the number of applications we received last year. Most of the students were referred to us by our partners -- local nonprofits that are tirelessly working to give students access to education in the Masiphumelele and Ocean View communities. We have been so encouraged by the many qualified students who applied for our scholarship this year. Our scholarship opportunity is truly making inroads into the townships in South Africa.
This year’s abundance of qualified applicants has convinced us that we need to increase both the quantity and magnitude of our scholarships in order to match the need of these students. To give you a sense of the cost of a college education in South Africa, top 4-year universities charge approximately $6,000 per year. Most students qualify for government grants/loans, making the cost approximately $2,000 per year out of pocket. We are hoping to offer scholarships that cover this cost. But in order to do so, we need to increase our funding. Thus, we are planning our next fundraising push, with the hope of raising $20,000 by the end of the year. We will be contacting you in the next few months asking if you will be interested in continuing to financially partner with us to reach this goal.
To give you an update on one of our 2010 Open Doors Scholars, we’d like to share with you a letter that Simphiwe sent to us after his first year at the University of Cape Town. In his own words:
Hello Open Doors team,
I am doing just fine with my academics and with life at university. I am meeting lots of fascinating individuals and I am proud to say I have good friends that have the same vision and mission as I do. First year (first semester) was pretty much hectic - the gap from high school to university is quite huge I must say. But hey, it didn't take me ages to adjust to this life, and now I am on top of my things. I passed all my first semester courses with quite good results and I am now working hard to maintain my standard or to up my game. There are some pros and cons here, lots of them because I live and study with lots of students that come from mostly privileged schools and backgrounds, so the pressure, pride and neglect is quite tall. Nonetheless, I know who I am and where I come from and what I want and that keeps me going. However, I am enjoying university and I think it is one of the best places to be if one is enthusiastic about life.
We will send further updates about our progress and future opportunities to participate in our fundraisers through our website as well as through project reports on GlobalGiving. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments about our work, please let us know. Thank you again for your continued support!
The Open Doors Team