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Med student chosen to help ‘change the world’ student chosen to help ‘change the world’Wilma Stassen<p style="text-align:justify;">A first-year medical student, Keaton Harris, is one of just 21 young people from around the world that were selected to take part in the Young Sustainable Impact (YSI) Innovation Program. The goal of the YSI initiative is to find viable solutions to help meet the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The 21 YSI candidates were selected from 8 560 applications from around the world. According to the YSI website, all applicants must be under the age of 25 and should be “crazy enough to think they can change the world, and bold enough to actually do it."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I am still in a state of disbelief!" says the 23 year-old Harris. “I am the only South African chosen for the program. Being able to represent Stellenbosch University, and South Africa as whole on a global level, is definitely a highlight of my life thus far. This is a tangible chance to actually make a real difference," says Harris, who also holds a Pharmacy Honours degree from UWC that he achieved summa cum laude last year.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The candidates are grouped into international teams of three, and are guided to create their own start-up company or design prototype which will offer solutions to one of the SDGs. The project that Harris and his team mates (from Brazil and Canada respectively) are working on, will address SDG 3, which relates to 'Good Health and Wellbeing'.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“For the next few months each team member will be working remotely to develop our business solution or prototype under the guidance of YSI. In August all the candidates will gather in Norway where we will meet up with our teammates to fine tune our start-up idea and to meet with potential investors," explains Harris.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“After our visit to Norway we will have a concrete plan for the implementation of our innovate start-up, and from this point we will work hand-in-hand with investors and YSI in to create a business plan that will develop our start-ups into the modern day age and operation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Ultimately, we're hoping that our start-ups will provide solutions that are adopted by the masses, and that will better the lives, health and wellbeing of the rest of the world," he concludes.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Caption: Keaton Harris was selected to take part in the Young Sustainable Impact Innovation Programme which looks at ways to meet the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Wilma Stassen</em></p>
Tygermaties win women's and men's Molassesêr titles win women's and men's Molassesêr titlesLiezel Engelbrecht<p style="text-align:justify;">Students at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) showed off their talent at the recent Molassesêr competition – and proved that they weren't just bookworms.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Residences at Stellenbosch University compete annually for the Molassesêr title.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This year the theme was “Video Killed the Radiostar" and the final round took place on 26 April at the Conservatorium Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch. Students from Tygerberg campus won both the women's and the men's trophies – the first time Tygerberg managed this double feat.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">House Francie van Zijl and Hippokrates Men's Residence both ended up at the top of the adjudicators' scorecards in their respective categories.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This is the second year in a row that Hippokrates Men's Residence wins in their category. “As far as we know, we are also the first residence to win this trophy two years in a row, and next year we are going to try and make it three," says Ruhann Botha, House Committee member (culture) and cheerleader of Hippokrates Men's Residence. “We are very proud of how well we did."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For House Francie it was a two-year-long dream that became a reality. “We did not take part in 2015, and upon our return in 2016 we did not get through to the last round. Last year we came second in the competition, and, of course, we could not leave it at that. This year we tackled it again with the aim to win, and managing to do that was absolutely incredible! Many hours of work, crisis management and planning were all worth it in the end," explains Luné Smith, House Francie Committee member for culture. She was also one of the five passionate cheerleaders of House Francie.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Botha the winning recipe is that everyone should enjoy themselves. “We practise hard, but at the end of the day your make new friends and you thoroughly enjoy yourself." As far as their strategy went, they believed in writing the storyline first, and then to choose the music to go with it. “In that way the performance flows, and you don't try and force it to fit a specific song." He believes their funny renderings of characters such as Jacob Zuma, Nataniël and Simon Cowell, together with their popular song choices, were the key ingredients of their success. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Smith says that it was definitely the high spirits of House Francie that made them stand out. “With each performance, we sang loudly, and danced enthusiastically. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and the audience could see this. Added to this, our colourful shirts and face paint made us very noticeable, and that contributed to the playful atmosphere of our performance."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Botha says that even though they would stay loyal to Hippokrates Women's Residence, and hope to win both titles next year, House Francie's performance was "excellent'. In turn, Smith says she was very impressed with the performances of the Hippokrates  Women, Meerhoff (who participated for the first time), the main campus's Huis Ten Bosch and Wilgenhof, and of course that of Hippokrates Men.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Hippokrates Men have never disappointed with their performances. It was nice to see them change their khaki and white costumes for something different. I am always amazed at how willing these guys are to clown around in the name of fun! But I am extremely grateful for it! It is always nice to see that Tygermaties also do other things besides swotting."</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Molassesêr in a nutshell - Luné Smith explains:</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>What you need:</strong> “(1) Many first-year students, (2) senior students to provide some leadership, (3) lots of enthusiasm, (4) face-paint, (5) a good drummer (6) choreography and (7) music."</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>How it works:</strong> “The Molassesêr competition consists of only two rounds: the heats and the final. To take part in the first round merely requires an entry, but to get through to the next round, the group has to give six performances at six different residences, where they are adjudicated each time. The challenge of getting to the final round lies in running around Stellenbosch for an entire evening with a group of 60 students, while their legs, voices and spirits must keep up so that they can give their best every single time! Perseverance is key in such a project."</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>What happens after the final round?</strong> “The Molassesêr performances come to an end on the final competition evening. Every year there will be a new group taking part in the Molassesêr, mainly first years, and every year new leaders are chosen."<br></p>
Alcohol, illegal drugs can trigger self-harm, illegal drugs can trigger self-harmAlec Basson [Corporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie]<p>​If you use substances like alcohol and illegal drugs, you are at a greater risk of engaging in self-harm and other forms of suicidal behaviour, which are serious public health problems in South Africa.<br></p><p>This is one of the findings of a recent study conducted at Stellenbosch University (SU) and funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Research Foundation.<br></p><p>“The use of substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs can lead to self-harm by increasing disinhibition, exacerbating feelings of anger and aggression, and impairing people's ability to exercise good judgement. It can also precipitate psychotic symptoms leading to feelings of paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations which command a person to hurt or kill him or herself," says Dr Elsie Breet from SU's Department of Psychology. <img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/elsie-1_colour.jpg" alt="elsie-1_colour.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:276px;height:414px;" /><br></p><p>Breet recently obtained her doctorate in Psychology at SU exploring the link between substance use and self-harm among patients who received treatment at Groote Schuur Hospital in the Western Cape. Self-harm is an intentional and non-fatal self-injury or self-poisoning regardless of the level of intent to die.</p><p>Breet says there is increasing evidence in support of the need for context specific evidence-based research to guide suicide prevention and intervention strategies. She adds that little is known about the prevalence, correlates, nature, and context of substance use among self-harm patients in South Africa, which in turn hinders the planning of empirically supported hospital-based interventions. <br></p><p>As part of her research, Breet did a systematic review of 108 international studies about the link between substance use and suicidal behaviour in low- and middle-income countries as well as a retrospective review of the files of 230 self-harm patients to establish their demographics, patterns of medical service utilisation, and sociocultural differences between self-harm patients who report substance use and those who don't. She also interviewed 80 self-harm patients to determine how they understand the links between substance use and their self-harm.<br></p><p>Breet says a review of the literature suggests that for every completed suicide there are  approximately 8 to 22 visits to an emergency unit following an act of self-harm. “Studies have consistently reported that substance use is a risk factor for self-harm which could be changed in ways to decrease the risk for self-harm," she adds.  <br></p><p>She says available published data indicate that self-harm is more common among South Africans who are female, younger (i.e. in the age group of 18 to 34 years), less educated, single, unemployed, socially isolated, or have a history of trauma.<br></p><p>Regarding the patients who participated in her study, Breet points out that “as many as 37% of self-harm patients reported that they had a history of chronic substance use. Compared to other self-harm patients, those with a history of chronic substance use were more likely to be male, inflict damage to their bodies through violent methods of self-harm such as cutting or hanging, and have a history of prior incidents of self-harm." <br></p><p>“One in five self-harm patients reported that they had used substances prior to self-injury. Self-harm patients who had used substances were also more likely to have depressed levels of consciousness when admitted to hospital; and were more likely to utilise a greater number of medical resources and require a longer stay in hospital."<br></p><p>“Patients under the influence of substances at the time of their self-harm were also more likely to have a history of previous self-harm and report that they intended to die as a result of their injuries." <br></p><p>Breet adds that some patients also reported substance intoxication and recurrent substance use over an extended period compared to other self-harm patients. <br></p><p>Highlighting the World Health Organisation's affirmation that addressing substance use is integral to suicide prevention, Breet says it is pivotal that suicide intervention at Groote Schuur Hospital includes strategies and referrals focusing on substance use.<br></p><p> “Hospital staff should be made aware of and be equipped with skills and knowledge on how to address unhealthy patterns of substance use among self-harm patients."<br></p><p>“A deeper understanding of the association between substance use and self-harm will contribute to the development of appropriate, cost-effective evidence-based prevention at the hospital."<br></p><p>Breet says the assessment and management of substance use should be integral to the care of all individuals at risk of suicide and addressing substance use needs to be an integral component of suicide prevention in the country. <br></p><ul><li><strong>Main photo</strong>: Credit (Wikimedia Commons)<br></li><li><strong>Photo 1</strong>: Dr Elsie Breet<br></li></ul><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Elsie Breet </p><p>Department of Psychology  </p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel:  021 945 1204</p><p>E-mail: <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong></strong></span></a></p><p><strong>​             ISSUED BY</strong></p><p>Martin Viljoen<br></p><p>Manager: Media</p><p>Corporate Communication</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p>E-mail: <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong></strong></span></a> </p><p> </p><p><br></p>
SU Convocation elects 4 new Council members Convocation elects 4 new Council membersKorporatiewe Kommunikasie / Corporate Communications<p style="text-align:left;">The Convocation of Stellenbosch University (SU) has elected four new members to serve on the Stellenbosch University Council: Mr Charl Cillié, Adv Jean Meiring and Mr Johan Theron for the term 2 April 2018 to 1 April 2022, and Prof Joan Hambidge for the term 2 April 2018 to 1 April 2020.  <br></p><p style="text-align:left;">Members of the Convocation were invited to nominate candidates to fill the four vacancies on Council. As more than three candidates were nominated for the four-year term, and more than one candidate, for the two-year term, two election processes ran simultaneously for the two respective terms.  Voting closed at 12:00 on 30 April 2018. The validity of all ballots was verified.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Mr Cillié is the managing director at Infinity Web Solutions; adv Meiring is an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar (Johannesburg Society of Advocates); Mr Theron is a commercial litigant at Werksmans Attorneys and Prof Hambidge  is a professor of Afrikaans & Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town (UCT). </p><p style="text-align:left;">Both Prof Hambidge and Mr Theron have served on the SU Council before. </p><p style="text-align:left;">Stellenbosch University is currently revising its Statute, which among others, determines the composition of its statutory bodies. Stakeholders and members of the public who would like to give input on the draft Statute can proceed to the following link: <a href="/statute"></a>. Comments can be sent to <a href=""></a>. The closing date for contributions is 28 May 2018.<br></p><p><br></p>
100 Artefacts to tell SU’s story Artefacts to tell SU’s storyCorporate Communications Division<p></p><p> The Stellenbosch University Museum will soon host an exhibition, 100 Artefacts, in commemoration of the <a href="/100"><strong>Centenary year</strong></a> of Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>This exhibition aims to creatively narrate the stories of the University of the past 100 years.</p><p>Prof Matilda Burden, Senior Curator: Museum research, says the items on display will each have its own unique story to tell and is directly linked to the University.</p><p>“Although we are still looking for items, we have already received various interesting artefacts. The artefact might not tell one continuous story of the University, but each has a story that contributes to how we know the University today."</p><p>Some of the items already donated, includes a Feldmeyer iron used back in the day when the University had a Departement of Home Economics. The department was later known as Department of Consumer studies, but was phased out completely.<br></p><p>There is also a film camera, most probably dating from the 30's or even earlier, used by the renown 'Oom Pietie Le Roux' to record activities of the Stellenbosch Boereorkes. Le Roux started the orchestra in 1933 with members he recruited among SU students.</p><p>Prof Burden calls on the SU community to contact her should they have any items of interest to lend to the University for this exhibition.</p><p>It is not only items from bygone days that will be part of the exhibition, but also items from our recent past. Burden is especially looking for items from residences or items used at protest actions at the past few years.</p><p>“There might be someone who still has a t-shirt of Open Stellenbosch or a poster that was used at the #FeesMustFall protest. These items can all make a contribution to the story we want to tell.</p><p>The exhibition will be on show for about two years at the University Museum and all items will be given back to the owners.</p><ul><li>For more information, please contact Prof Burden at <a href=""></a></li><li>Visit <a href="/100"></a> for more about SU's Centenary Year<br><br></li></ul><p><br></p>
SU stakeholders invited to give input into new draft Statute stakeholders invited to give input into new draft StatuteCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​ Stellenbosch University (SU) has released the first version of its new draft Statute for an internal and public consultation process. The Statute is the constitution of Stellenbosch University. It provides the institutional framework for the effective governance and administration of the University, and describes the foundational structures and processes within which the values, ideals and principles driving the University are pursued.<br></p><p>In a changing higher education environment, it became necessary to thoroughly revise the Statute, for which the University Council gave approval on 26 September 2016. The Council constituted a task team that compiled the first draft Statute in cooperation with legal experts, and with directional input from Council and its Executive Committee, and input gathered through a range of workshops. </p><p><span lang="AF">The objective of the task team was to compile a logical, accurate and legal, yet accessible document, drafted in simple language and style.</span> <br></p><p>Over the next month this document will be tabled for consideration and comment at faculty board meetings and other internal university bodies while external stakeholders and members of the public are also invited to give input. <br></p><p><span lang="AF">The closing date for comment is 28 May 2018 and input can be sent to </span><span lang="EN-GB"><a href=""><span lang="AF"></span></a></span><span lang="AF"> </span><span lang="AF"> </span><br></p><p>According to the planning timeline the final draft will be submitted to Council for approval in November 2018.<br></p><ul><li><p>More information <a href="/english/Pages/Statute.aspx"><strong>h</strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span><span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span><strong>ere</strong></a></p></li><li><p>Click <a href="/english/Documents/Strategic_docs/2018/Draft%20SU%20Statute%20Eng%20Version%20for%20consultation%2020%20Apr%2018.pdf"><strong>here </strong></a>for an electronic copy or the draft Statute<br></p></li><li><p>A printed copy may be collected from the Registrar's office, room 2020, Administration A building, Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch.</p></li><li><p>Copy of the current Statute <a href="/english/management/Pages/Statute.aspx?TermStoreId=d4aca01e-c7ae-4dc1-b7b2-54492a41081c&TermSetId=09e8ff42-c9d7-4b6f-be13-83ef9dcb3301&TermId=62545600-fdbc-41b4-b453-8cfca8d2fa70)"><strong>here</strong> </a>. <br></p></li></ul>
SU experts honoured by Academy for Science and Arts experts honoured by Academy for Science and ArtsCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>Researchers at Stellenbosch University (SU) are again among those who will be honoured this year by the South African Academy for Science and Arts (Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns) for their contributions to science and arts. They will receive their awards at two ceremonies in Pretoria and Stellenbosch respectively.<br></p><p>The recipients are Prof Emile van Zyl of the Department of Microbiology, Prof Barend Herbst, Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics, and Prof Lizette Joubert, Chief Researcher at the Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Research Institute and Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Food Science.<br></p><p>Prof Van Zyl is awarded the Havenga Prize for Life Sciences for his innovative research in the natural sciences, his research excellence, competitiveness, and academic expertise. For more than a decade he has been campaigning for the use of environmentally friendly fossil fuel alternatives and has contributed immensely to this area or research.</p><p>The Havenga Prize for Physical Sciences (Chemistry) is awarded to Prof Barend Herbst for an academic career stretching four decades and characterized by research outputs of the highest quality and service delivery at various levels. Herbst was involved among others in the South African Mathematics Olympiad and the South African Symposium for Numerical and Applied Mathematics.<br></p><p>Prof Joubert receives a medal of honour from the Academy's Faculty of Science and Technology for her innovative, sustainable and applied product-based research on rooibos and honey bush. Her research led to the development of various processes implemented by the rooibos and honey bush industry. She also received international recognition for her work.<br></p><p>Alumni from SU are among the other recipients.<br></p><p><br></p>
Legal industry discriminates against people with dyslexia industry discriminates against people with dyslexiaCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>​People with dyslexia​ (reading and writing disabilities) struggle to find jobs in the legal industry because employers draft advertisements in a way that excludes them.<br></p><p>This is one of the key findings of a new study at Stellenbosch University (SU). <br></p><p>“People with dyslexia are routinely discriminated against in job advertisements for the legal industry. The wording in advertisements greatly impair or nullify their chances to obtain positions and indirectly exclude them from being considered for jobs," says Monja Posthumus-Meyjes an attorney at SU's Law Clinic. She recently obtained her Master's degree in Law from SU. <br></p><p>Posthumus-Meyjes' study addressed the exclusion of people with dyslexia who apply for jobs in the legal industry, and also evaluated whether such direct or indirect discrimination can be justified as an inherent job requirement and/or unjustifiable hardship to reasonably accommodate persons with dyslexia. </p><p>She analysed advertisements by some legal organisations in South Africa and also examined court cases that focused on whether inherent requirements of a job can be seen as a form of indirect discrimination.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Monja.jpg" alt="Monja.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:295px;height:443px;" /><br></p><p>As a person with dyslexia who had to overcome great challenges pertaining to writing, reading and finding employment, Posthumus-Meyjes<strong> </strong>found that the wording in advertisements amount to indirect discrimination on the basis of disabilities and that indirect discrimination was not rational, fair or justifiable.</p><p>She says people with dyslexia are more likely not to get a job in the legal industry as their applications will probably be rejected because employers think they don't meet the inherent requirements. <br></p><p>“If people with dyslexia applies for a position which requires 'excellent reading and writing skills', they would in all likelihood not be invited for an interview, solely on the basis of their disability."<br></p><p>According to Posthumus-Meyjes, employers are ignorant about people with disabilities and use certain policies, procedures, inherent job requirements as well as unjustifiable hardship as a justification for not appointing them.<br></p><p>“While it can be argued that the ability to read and write is an essential part of being an attorney, exceptional reading and writing skills cannot be argued to be an inherent requirement of the job, as it is an undefined and subjective criteria."<br></p><p>Posthumus-Meyjes says it has become a trend to draft advertisements in such a way as to benefit employers and to vindicate them from having to appoint persons with disabilities and/or to reasonably accommodate them. <br></p><p>She adds that this trend continues despite the fact that the Constitution and the Employment Equity Act protect persons with disabilities against discrimination.<br></p><p>Posthumus-Meyjes calls for advertisements that reflect the real inherent requirements of the job which are essential to the job and not badly formulated ideas that are not important to the job. <br></p><p>“The only focus of the employer should be whether the applicant has the necessary qualifications, and then consider but for the disability, would this person with reasonable accommodation be able to perform the work." <br></p><p>Posthumus-Meyjes says people with dyslexia and other disabilities are generally loyal and hardworking and, given the right working environment, can be productive employees.<br></p><p>“If a candidate is reasonably accommodated he or she will be able to efficiently perform and measure up to the inherent requirements of the job." <br></p><p>She points out that there are ways in which the legal industry can accommodate people with dyslexia.<br></p><p>“People with dyslexia, depending on their level of reading difficulty, can be accommodated by using dictation which is then transcribed by a secretary, or if they are required to do their own writing, special dyslexia fonts, special keyboards, or even computer software can assist them with the writing process."<br></p><p>Posthumus-Meyjes argues that these aids don't have to be expensive and<em> </em>cannot be regarded as an unjustifiable hardship for employers. </p><p>She bemoans the fact that even though dyslexia can be regarded as a form of disability, there's still a lot of stigma around it.</p><p>“The most common stigma is that persons with dyslexia cannot work in the white-collar sector and should be confined to blue-collar jobs."</p><p>“The stigma can only be overcome by legally protecting and promoting access to jobs and focusing only on the question whether the person can do the essential parts of the job, albeit with reasonable accommodation," adds<em> </em>Posthumus-Meyjes.<br></p><ul><li><strong>​Main photo</strong>: Credit: Pxhere<br></li><li><strong>Photo 1</strong>: Monja Posthumus-Meyjes<br></li></ul><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Monja Posthumus-Meyjes<br></p><p>Law Clinic</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 3600</p><p>E-mail: <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong></strong></span></a> </p><p><strong>             ISSUED BY</strong></p><p>​Martin Viljoen<br></p><p>Manager: Media<br></p><p>Corporate Communication</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p>E-mail: <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong></strong></span></a><span 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SU Theologian winner of Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu prize Theologian winner of Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu prizeHelette van der Westhuizen<p style="text-align:justify;">The Andrew Murray Prize Fund has announced the winners of this year's prizes for Christian and theological books.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu Prize </strong>for Christian and Scientific Theological Publications was awarded to Prof Louis Jonker of the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University (SU) for his book, <em>Defining All-Israel in Chronicles</em>, published by the German publishing house Mohr Siebeck. The reviewers describe the publication as "a work of excellent academic research of the highest quality".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In this book, Jonker develops a new interpretation model for interpreting the book of Chronicles. Chronicles represents a re-interpretation of older history traditions of Ancient Israel (contained in the books Samuel and Kings). The re-interpretation takes place in a changed socio-historical context, namely during the last years of the Persian Empire. Jonker's book indicates that the identity negotiation in this period takes place both in continuity with the traditions of the past, but also takes the courage to think and to believe in new ways in new historical conditions. The book furthermore indicates how the identity negotiation process played out on at least four levels, namely in the wider emipre, in interaction with the surrounding provinces, in the discourse between the tribal areas of Judah and Benjamin, and in the conflict groups in the Jerusalem temple cult.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The prize, which will be awarded on 25 May 2018, consists of a cash prize and a commendation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The other prize winners are:</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The Andrew Murray Prize</strong> for a General Christian Publication: André Pretorius for his book, <em>Geloof alleen,</em> published by Naledi;</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The Desmond Tutu-Gerrit Brand Prize</strong> for a debut work in an official language of South Africa: Pierre du Plessis for his book, <em>Jesus ruik na mirre en stof</em> published by Lux Verbi.</p><p>Two special awards are also made: <strong>the Andrew Murray-FAK</strong> <strong>award</strong> for Christian Music to Pieter H. van der Westhuizen, and <strong>a</strong> <strong>special Andrew Murray award</strong> to Timo Crouse.<br></p><p><br> </p>
'You can do this!''You can do this!'Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>When Kristin Trout walked across the stage at one of Stellenbosch University's (SU) March graduation ceremonies to receive her BA Sport Science degree, she did so for her whole family. "I felt as if I was graduating for them," she says.<br></p><p>The 21-year-old from Ottery in Cape Town, who is the first person in her family to graduate from University, says her sense of pride is tremendous. </p><p>Kristin, who completed her degree with financial help from SU as well as the Andreas and Susan Strüngmann Foundation, says coming from a single-parent household was tough financially, but the bursaries took the financial strain off her mom.  "When applying for university, I was offered a recruitment bursary from SU based on my academics and I was lucky enough to receive a partial scholarship from Students for a Better Future Foundation (SBF)."</p><p>She says her relationship with SBF started in high school already when the Foundation funded her entire high school career. The SBF Scholarship Programme is an initiative of the Andreas and Susan Strüngmann Foundation that was set up in 2008 to fund educational initiatives currently focused in the Western Cape. The Foundation's SBF programme gives academically gifted and financially needy students the opportunity to attend some of the best high schools in the Cape Town area to help them develop their talents.</p><p>Explains Juliet Glover, Head of the SBF Foundation: "We support approximately 500 high school children and university students in the Western Cape. The Foundation identifies and recruits scholarship recipients in their Grade 7 year, then funds the students through high school. By the time our students get to university, we have known them for six years. And by the time a student graduates from university he or she would have been with the Foundation for between 9 and 10 years. We feel overwhelmingly proud to see our young adults graduate and take their place in the working world."</p><p>According to Glover, the Foundation's vision is for every scholarship recipient to find their place in the world, support their own family and give back to their community and to society. “And with every student that graduates, this vision is closer to being realised."</p><p>SBF currently supports 16 Matie students and is keen on growing this number in future. “We have been so pleased to establish our partnership with Stellenbosch University and have been impressed with the support our students receive. This year, we placed more students than in 2017 and we look forward to growing our numbers at SU each year," Glover adds. </p><p>For Kristin the financial and emotional support she received from SBF gave her that extra boost that she needed to succeed. "Having SBF involved with my high school education as well as my tertiary education helped me so much in terms of having another family behind me."</p><p>With her first degree in the bag, Kristin is tackling yet another degree this year and again the SBF will be there to provide support. "I am currently doing a degree in BSc Computer Science. My plans for the future is to finish this new degree and get a job that involves programming within the sport science field. I would love to go into a career that will allow me to apply my knowledge in both of these fields. I have been fortunate enough to receive partial funding from SBF again and am very grateful to have them behind me for another degree," she adds.</p><p>Kristin says the most important thing that she has learnt is to never give up on herself. "There were many times during my years of study that I thought I would not be able to make it, but through perseverance and hard work I was able to achieve my goal. I will be forever grateful to my amazing family as well as all the people in my life that never gave up on me."</p><p>Her advice to other young people is to strive to do your best. "Life can be hard and there are many challenges to face, but if you surround yourself with people who uplift you, nothing can stop you. Don't stop believing in yourself and never let anyone bring you down. Stay positive, you can do this!"</p><ul><li><em>Photo: Vera Schaupp, Programme Officer at the Andreas & Susan Strüngmann Foundation, came to support Kristin at her graduation ceremony. (Photographer: Anton Jordaan)</em><br></li></ul><p><br></p>