Opening windows of opportunity

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

The East Rand Youth Trust, in association with Emperor's Palace, awarded certificates to 10 bursary students who recently graduated from universities and colleges.

The ceremony was held at the casino and gave students an opportunity to meet business leaders and government officials to assist them in finding employment and work experience in their chosen fields.

The trust has been operating since 1997 and has produced 22 graduates. It boasts a 90percent success rate.

There are 67 students presently enrolled at Gauteng universities and tertiary institutions, and 150 students at colleges.

The trust makes a huge difference to the community because youth from underprivileged backgrounds have been given an opportunity to develop skills and further their education. Young people who live in the community have been empowered with many possibilities.

Monde Tabata, a trustee, said: "The primary focus of the trust is to provide bursaries for the disadvantaged youth of the East Rand to study at tertiary and vocational institutions.

"What makes the East Rand Youth Trust different is the support that we offer our students. Within this support structure, we offer students the opportunity to forge meaningful relationships with business leaders so that they are able to source gainful employment," Tabata said.

Trust manager Jenny Findlay said: "The trust aims to offer a unique solution to the problem of unemployment by offering opportunities to young people who otherwise would have no means to become economically active.

"The trust offers additional mentorship which goes beyond the education process and extends to the cultivation of an enlightened mind.

"We encourage students not only to want to improve their own circumstances, but also those of their communities, in order to perpetuate the cycle of learning and development," Findlay said.

The trust has also established a children's trust to focus on primary schools in the region.