The overall benefit of the BEF programme is helping our students to a brighter future – for themselves and their families.
However hidden behind this aim and being the most important achievement for us, is to create a critical
mass of students and their parents, equipping them with the knowledge and experience of how to qualify and apply to get into a university or any other tertiary institution.
Today this critical mass consists of 38 graduates and their families as well as the 22 currently at university who also mentor the newcomers. Suddenly the whole narrative has comes alive: “Don’t worry, we will help you, show you how to apply for admission, get bursaries and accommodation. We will show you all the pitfalls and we can testify that it is not beyond the reach of ordinary citizens’’.
95% of students in our program are first generation tertiary students i.e. no family member has studied at university before. They are now being guided by their next door neighbours so to speak and the pool is expanding every year. We have now reached a situation where the mentors can stand back and allow the Botrivier community to help and propel this development exercise themselves. It is a self-driven project rooted from deep within the community.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had to work from home. From 31 August 2020 all the learners were back at school and the one-on-one sessions continued. With that in mind we have had a few challenges. We provided learners with question papers and worksheets. The main challenges were to guide the learners as to how they could utilize the internet to do research and watch videos that explain difficult terms and formulas. Social distance one-on-one sessions were held with all our learners. Most learners do not have any support from their parents and they are also not equipped with the necessary knowledge to study on their own.
The learners present completed worksheets for assessment by the facilitators and mentors.