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ISFAP funded student to helping raise the funds - Meet ISFAP's alumnus and intern, Aplonia K. Manala

August 25, 2021

Tumelo Mtsweni

“How would you go about developing a strategy for fundraising?” The Senior Executive for Fundraising and Strategy asks, in the most casual way – as if he didn’t just throw a bomb my way. This was during my third interview. I was way past the ‘tell me about yourself’ stage and to say I was anxious would be an understatement. I said what I could and left it at that, proud of myself for making it that far. Today, after four months of gruelling work, I can proudly say that I know exactly how to formulate a strategy for fundraising – from the beginning stages when everything is just a web of ideas, till the very end when that strategy is presented to the senior managers in the organization. To say that everything has been easy would be a complete lie. I almost quit in my second month after receiving what seemed likemy 100th task for that day. But through perseverance, and hope for a better future for myself and my family’s, I soldiered on. Working for ISFAP has been fulfilling in so many ways. I get to see the testimonies of ordinary students from not-so-great circumstances, pushing through the crowd to see their dreams come true.

The question of free education is pointless to debate if graduates are still finding themselves unemployed. As a country, we have already begun witnessing the sad trend of young people sitting at home for years with their degrees serving as wall decorations. It is therefore important to match the qualifications we choose with the market needs. ISFAP does not only fund young people for graduation, but for employment as well. Having an in-demand qualification such as Accounting drastically improved my odds at getting a job and doing well in it. I am learning something new each day, but one thing remains constant, and that is my great passion for the work that ISFAP does and the many lives that it has impacted and will continue to impact.

By: Aplonia Manala

ISFAP - the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme - was established to assist poor and 'missing' middle income university students in selected fields of study to afford the university fees by means of providing financial aid provided the candidate meets certain prescribed requirements.
©  Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme Foundation NPC

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