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Pulane's dream now a reality

By Victor Mecoamere | Apr 07, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

YOU find true joy and happiness in life when you give and give and go on giving and never count the cost.

YOU find true joy and happiness in life when you give and give and go on giving and never count the cost.

These poignant words by author Eileen Caddy apply perfectly to the nation-building partnership of Sowetan consumer editor Thuli Zungu, high school pupil Pulane Maake, her loving mother Evelyn and all the caring South Africans who responded positively to the young girl's plea for help to fulfil her dream of going abroad to expand her horizon.

Pulane, described as an award-winning leader who has excelled academically as well as on the sport field, will leave for Washington DC in June to take part in the People to People leadership programme.

The programme allows pupils in Grades 6 to 12 to investigate specific topics or career interests while at the same time acquiring leadership skills.

Evelyn contacted our consumer editor in the middle of 2009 and from September her daughter' s letters of appeal started appearing in Sowetan.

Zungu has coordinated the programme ever since.

Pulane wrote in March: "I am 11 years old and in Grade 6 at the Dominican Belgravia School in Johannesburg.

"This is my second letter of appeal. The first was published in SowetaninSeptember 2009.

I have been nominated by my teacher, Kim Bechus, to participate in the People to People Leadership Forum in Washington DC in June. The forum was established by former US president Dwight Eisenhower and is led by his daughter, MaryJean Eisenhower.

"I hope to acquire many empowerment skills that I will impart to others in my school and community. I would appreciate it if individuals, companies and organisations assisted me with any amount to help realise this dream.

"The cost of the trip to Athe US is R50000. So far we have managed to raise R27000, mostly through Good Samaritans.

I now appeal for further sponsorship," Pulane wrote.

People, companies, institutions and organisations came to the rescue.

An elated Pulane said: "A big thank you to all who have put a big smile on my little face. My dream is just a step away! My heartfelt gratitude and joy to all the generous Samaritans.

"A special thank you to:

lSello Mogopudi of General Medical Supplies;

lThabo Manzi of Amaqwathi Tours;

lAyanda Mbanga-Mhungu of Ayanda Mbanga Communications;

lThe deputy general's office in the Department of Education (DoE);

lPeter Malepe, counsellor political in the South African High Commission to Nigeria; and

lDalene Rostovsky and Kim Becheus of the Dominican Belgravia school for their continued support for me and my mother.

"To my mother, whom I adore and who remained positive and daring despite obstacles, thank you, mom, for your continued support.

"To Sowetan, keep up your good work of building young leaders like me. I really appreciate it and I will continue to shine and make all of you proud!

"This is just the beginning of a journey to my brighter future! On my return from Washington I hope to share my journey with you all and most of all, to share my experiences with my peers and my community to continue to empower others," wrote the determined Pulane.


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