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Masandise is the isiXhosa word for “Let us help grow.” Masandise Study Aid is a system of financial, social and academic support for extremely impoverished young people that enables them to undergo tertiary training. Mentors act as surrogate parents, each guiding between one and fifteen individual students, doing what more affluent parents do for their own children, advising and helping them in various ways. Our motto is “A passion for the possible!

changes lives!

Aspirant beneficiaries come to Masandise’s attention in various ways, through a local headmaster or social worker, often through a friend already on our books. The criterion for aid is that candidates must be very poor. Many are orphans. We visit the candidate’s home and make an assessment of need. If they are still at school, they receive career guidance and get helped with application to a tertiary institution (after they have themselves gone to find out more during a holiday).

All donor contributions go toward aiding these virtually indigent young people: Masandise does not have any employees; hence there are no overheads costs. Bursaries do not comprise a fixed sum, but are awarded according to need. Students’ State loans are augmented by the Fund.

Financial aid mostly takes the form of a monthly allowance for food, transport and, in some cases, registration, books and rent are also subsidised. University students are provided where necessary with laptops.

Not all students are college or university material, but those are helped with computer or “home carer” training or in other ways that will enable them to find employment.


Number of Students in the Masandise Project


Masandise is much more than just a fund providing money to students. In fact, it tries to some extent to fulfil the role that parents in a well-to-do household will play, namely to provide all funds needed to sustain an academic career, whilst at the same time also providing advice, academic and emotional support and helping the students to find jobs.

Your donation makes a difference

All donor contributions go toward aiding these virtually indigent young people:  an independently funded treasurer handles the money and mentors serve voluntarily; hence there are no overheads costs.

Ek is tans betrokke by vier studente wat finansieel deur Masandise  Studiehulp ondersteun word. Die kursusse wissel van BSc Rekenaarwetenskap, Landbou diploma en onderwys tot tweede fase internskap as elektrisiën.  Maar emosionele ondersteuning gee ek ook aan ’n verdere sewe studente wat nie meer finansieel van Masandise afhanklik is nie. Laasgenoemde groep is in verskillende stadiums van werksoek, onderhoude en die eerste treë in die jong werkende se lewe. Dit is opvallend hoeveel die emosionele ondersteuning vir die studente beteken. Almal wat finansieël onafhanklik raak, is uitermate verlig dat hulle nog steeds kan staatmaak op emosionele ondersteuning. Vir sommiges is ek “Sissie,” vir ander, selfs “ Mommy” !

Anonymous mentor

Mentor, Masandise

Ek mentor op die oomblik drie derde jaar studente by UWK en een tweedejaar student. Twee doen BComm-grade en twee doen BA-grade. Dan is daar ’n student in sy eerste jaar by False Bay College in Khayalisha, en ’n tweedejaar by die Kaapse Tegniese Universiteit. Albei doen besigheidstudies. Die laaste student is ’n tweedejaar in Maatskaplike Werk op Stellenbosch, dus sewe in totaal. Ek is die trotsste op ʼn dame wat BA met Politieke Studies en Antropologie by UWK volg. Sy het as jong meisie nie matriek gemaak nie. Sy was ’n aktivis en gemeenskapswerker in ’n baie arm en moeilike woonbuurt in Lavender Hill naby Muizenberg, is later getroud en het twee seuns grootgemaak. Toe haar jongste seun begin studeer, het sy self ook by UWK ingeskryf en op 40+ jaar begin studeer. Met baie harde werk en trane en vasbyt is sy nou al in haar tweede jaar en het nog elke eksamen in al haar vakke geslaag. 

Anonymous Mentor

Mentor, Masandise


The mentorship aspect of the Masandise project is the life blood from which all of our support flows into the lives of those in need.

Some of the Masandise mentors have been involved with students for ten years or longer, others joined our team more recently. Mentors represent a wide range of age groups. Most are women; there are two men. We have found that many students really feel the need for a father-figure, but an understanding “mother” or “sister” is also a great boon, especially in the case of younger, orphaned students. Several of our students have in the past become young parents themselves while studying, and this factor is strangely stabilising: it would seem that students gain an enhanced sense of responsibility. Several of our most successful past students have children and look after them very well. Mentors help where needed in cases like these, expressing no sort of judgemental opinions. We are only too aware of the contribution of extreme poverty and the lack of adequate social education at home to the phenomenon of single parenthood. These young parents that we deal with, are mostly single mothers. However, at least one of our male students takes his parental duties very seriously. In fact, in this case the mentor discovered the existence of this child only recently. He had kept the fact from her, although he is in many ways himself one of those most needing of personal guidance and encouragement by his mentor.

Bursaries covering registration and books, food, often transport or rent, do not comprise a fixed sum, but are awarded according to need. As a rare exception, some class fees may also be covered, but in general students’ State loans are merely augmented by the Fund.

All donor contributions go toward aiding these virtually indigent young people. Masandise does not have any paid employees, only volunteer mentors; hence there are no overhead costs. Financial administration falls under the auspices of Stellumthombo. Without our aid, many such students would have given way to despair.

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Stellumthombo is a registered NPO with PBO status. This means that by making a donation to help fund our projects you qualify for a article 18 a tax receipt. Stellumthombo is also level one BBBEE compliant organisation, so by making a donation you will also qualify for BBBEE points.

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