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Unisa online - Ekurhuleni RSC touches the life of a brilliant young student

Ntombifuthi Mashimini’s life has changed for the better, thanks to the Ekurhuleni Service Centre

An Ekurhuleni student can now concentrate on her studies knowing that they have been paid for, thanks to the goodwill shown by staff at the Ekurhuleni Regional Service Centre.

Ntombifuthi Mashimini is registered for her first year in BSc Biochemistry and Chemistry studies.  She obtained distinctions in Biochemistry and Business Management.

However, Ntombifuthi could not receive her results as she had an outstanding amount of R2 100 for her tuition fees. Because she was unable to pay the outstanding amount, she was also unable to register for the next semester. Her NSFAS application had been unsuccessful because of incomplete information on her application form.

The 23-year old Ntombifuthi stays with her single mother and two siblings in Daveyton. One of the siblings is a security guard and the other is not working or studying. The family survives on a child maintenance grant that the State provides to Ntombifuthi and her younger sibling. Ntombifuthi said she never knew or met her father.

The Regional Service Centre’s Counselling Unit discussed her plight with the Centre Manager, Pat Lethole and she marshaled her colleagues into action.

In the true spirit of Mandela month, staff at the centre made individual monetary contributions towards the payment of Ntombifuthi’s outstanding tuition fee. Her outstanding tuition fees were paid.

“Our gesture was in line with embracing Mandela’s quest for education. Staff collectively decided that it is imperative that we change this student’s life for the better. It was also an opportunity to bless somebody’s life for a better future,” said Mrs Pat Lethole, Centre Manager.

Ntombifuthi’s subsequent application for NSFAS was successful and she is now registered for this (second) semester. She was also granted the NATSKILLS Bursary. This bursary is allocated to top performing students.

On hearing news of the gesture made by Ekurhuleni RSC staff, Ntombifuthi was jubilant.

“To all Ekurhuleni staff members – please know that I am really grateful for all the contributions you have made towards my future. Words are not enough for expressing my gratitude for the life changing gesture you have made. May the Almighty God fill where you took and bless you abundantly”, she said.

Ntombifuthi pointed out that staff at the Ekurhuleni RSC have proven that even in the midst of day-to-day life challenges, humanity still prevails.

“Who said Ubuntu is no longer alive in South Arica? I can testify with a smile on my face that my life ahead looks very prosperous, all thanks to you. I am now looking forward to my studies and am ready to complete my degree. I am also hoping to find employment to help my family,” she added.

Asked what prompted staff to rally behind the call of the Centre Manager to assist the needy student, Mr Lesiba Molepo, a Regional Academic Coordinator concluded as follows:

“Sometimes, people tend to go out to assist others. In the meantime, they ignore those closer to them.  In this case, I think the staff looked closer to home and assisted one of their students. Therefore, it was a good experience”.

Staff from the Ekuruhuleni RSC with Ntombifuthi Mashimini

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