She has a big dream, says Khutso Masemola, a second-year medical student at Stellenbosch University (SU): to build a big, public hospital in her hometown of Ga-Masemola in Limpopo to provide much needed medical care to the people of the many rural villages in that area. One day... One day this might just become reality, because the Gus Molenaar Bursary Fund has helped Khutso to take the first step towards realising her dream. “It was already a dream come true for me to come to varsity," she says.
Khutso is one of six children and was raised in a “God-fearing Christian family, principled by humanity and obedience". After her mother passed away when she was just 10 years old, some of her siblings had to go live with her grandparents and relatives, while she and her little brother stayed with her father. “Coming from a rural area has been a challenge in many ways, but through this bursary fund I have conquered all these obstacles and my life has been changed for the better. This funding has made it possible for me to avoid sleeping with an empty stomach, to have secure shelter and the resources needed for my studies. I am forever grateful for this opportunity," Khutso says.
And this is exactly the kind of impact Margie Molenaar hoped to make when she and a friend of her late husband, Gus Molenaar, an engineer, approached SU's Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR) with the idea of establishing a bursary fund. “I wanted to do something to honour the memory of my late husband."
The bursary fund provides financial support to deserving female students in the faculties of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Khutso was one of the possible candidates identified for the bursary. Says Margie, “I was very impressed with Khutso. Although she comes from very difficult circumstances, she managed to do very well at school and at university. “She hopes to go back to her village to help the numerous people there who struggle with diabetes and high blood pressure." Khutso heard about SU in Grade 11 at a career exhibition at her school. She wanted to know more about the institution and “fell in love with SU". “It is the best varsity I could ever have gone to because of the support structures available in each faculty, especially for students like me living far from home. It creates a beautiful environment that we can call home and where we feel the love at all times. “This year has been one of the longest, most challenging and interesting years I have ever had. I have learnt a lot about myself, my capabilities, my strengths and, most importantly, to not give up when the going gets tough. “I hope to inspire other young girls who want to become doctors to help people. And I see myself as one of the doctors who will find a cure for diabetes," she says.
Karen Bruns, Senior Director of DAR, says she truly believes that education is the best investment in the future. “Thank you to Margie Molenaar for deciding to partner with SU to help students in need whilst honouring her husband's memory. It is wonderful to see how such an investment can unlock potential. In this case, Khutso has been enabled to achieve the goals that she has set for herself." Karen believes the continued partnership between the University and donors not only makes the higher education dreams of students a reality, but also enables the University to fulfil its mandate of delivering well-qualified graduates, producing new knowledge and making a positive impact on our society.
More about donations:
You could help the next generation of Matie students succeed by making a donation to your alma mater – either by cheque, direct deposit, credit card, debit order, electronic funds transfer (EFT) or online. Please contact our Development and Alumni Relations Division for further information on the projects that you can support. Phone +27(0)218084020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in the Matieland. Read more