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GENRIC Youth Foundation Trust sponsors two gifted scholars

Trust beneficiaries receive much-needed support.

GENRIC Youth Foundation Trust (GYFT) is making strides towards doing its share of social development in South Africa. The trust, created by short-term niche insurer GENRIC Insurance Company, officially kicked off its activities by sponsoring its first two beneficiaries.

In its pilot project this year, GYFT has provided financial support towards the education of Zanele Mbanjwa, a 10th Grader from Alexandra High School in Pietermaritzburg, and Ricardo Brandon Govender, who is in Grade 9 in Dinwiddie High School, Gauteng.

GYFT was established in 2014 by GENRIC Insurance, an A- rated short-term niche insurer, to service the social upliftment responsibility the company believes it has.

GYFT has since evolved, from its informal beginnings as a means for GENRIC staff to do some good, to a fully-fledged registered trust that has this year assisted two students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Bright young adults

“Our first project has been very successful so far,” says Katrina Dass-Naidoo, a trustee of GYFT. “Our beneficiaries are very bright young adults who have excelled in their studies, and our support means that they have the opportunity to excel and realise their potential without the worries that can arise from financial constraints.”

The Trust’s mandate is to provide financial and vocational support to young adults from Grade 8 to Matric age, who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, have little or no financial means and nevertheless excel in academics. The beneficiaries are selected based upon these criteria.

GYFT caters according to each beneficiary’s needs. In Zanele’s case, she needed help with the school fees for this year, as well as full summer and winter uniforms that include jerseys, book bags, sports clothes and shoes, along with the other basics.

For Ricardo, GYFT is providing financial support by paying for his school fees and transport to and from school. Before GYFT’s help, Ricardo had to walk several kilometres to and from school each day, rain or shine. Despite his circumstantial challenges hitherto, Ricardo still excels in mathematics, science and technology.

Vocational training

GYFT’s mandate is not limited to providing only financial support. The foundation aims to provide school and career guidance where appropriate, and seeks to give more targeted vocational training to the scholars.

Therefore GENRIC staff took a day to attend Zanele’s school in Pietermaritzburg, and they gave students a glimpse of what it means to work in the legal field.

Dass herself is a qualified attorney and briefed the children on the importance of preparing for university, examples of modules included in the LLB degree, and how a typical career in law could evolve, including working within a corporate environment, as well as legal practice.

Ricardo in turn visited the Trustees at the GENRIC offices for a day to see how a typical insurance company functions. He was taken for a tour through each department, and received a sense of all the diverse roles that exist within a typical business environment.

Lessons to learn

However, says Dass, there is still a lot of work ahead for the foundation and many lessons to learn.

“We are busy inventing our structures and seeing what works and what doesn’t,” she explains. “But we have made a fantastic start and will go from strength to strength to build on this.”

GYFT will select its second wave of beneficiaries, for the 2016 calendar year, by the first quarter of 2016 according to the minimum criteria set by the Trustees. Potential candidates are to apply to GYFT to be taken into consideration. Applications for the 2016 Education and Skills Development at GYFT open in October 2015 and close in December 2015.