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REAP Graduates
A recent tracking study of REAP's 2002 cohort of students concluded that REAP has left a major legacy with its Graduates. Many of our former students have a good work ethic and the ambition to succeed, coupled with a desire to contribute to society. Although most Graduates have left home and are busy building their own lives, the majority have a heart for their home...   READ MORE
REAP Graduates

A recent tracking study of REAP's 2002 cohort of students concluded that REAP has left a major legacy with its Graduates. Many of our former students have a good work ethic and the ambition to succeed, coupled with a desire to contribute to society. Although most Graduates have left home and are busy building their own lives, the majority have a heart for their home communities and are proud of where they come from. Many of our Graduates are deeply engaged with helping their extended families in financial and other ways.
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Meet Jodecee Solomons

Jodecee graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Drama and Theatre Studies) from Stellenbosch University at the end of 2016. In 2017, he will be pursuing an honours degree in Applied Theatre. For his community service, Jodecee initiated a project to curb food shortage in the Cederburg municipality. He distributed food parcels and facilitated educational workshops. He says that he developed his leadership and problem solving skills through this activity. Jodecee was also involved in various campus societies including Operation Smile and the Maties Drama group. He will always be remembered for his energy and authenticity as well as his commitment in REAP programme activities. He is originally from Citrusdal.

Jodecee writes: “First of all, I want to thank every member of the REAP team for an exceptional year. This year was amazing and I couldn't have pulled through without your continuous support and motivation. I cannot thank you enough. I will definitely miss REAP next year, and each and every one who made a positive contribution to my life. I became part of the amazing loving family three years ago. REAP has only ever been good to me. It saddens me to say goodbye. I'm at the finish line now but I look forward to be part of the REAP Alumni.”

Meet Neithel Mashiane

Neithel graduated with a BSc in Geology from the University of the Western Cape. In 2015, he was awarded a scholarship from the National Research Fund to do his honours at UWC. Having successfully completed this, he started searching for a career opportunity, where quite a number of promises were made but none of them materialised. Eventually in the middle of this year he was awarded another bursary from the Council for Geoscience to pursue his Masters’ Degree at the University of Johannesburg. Neithel writes: “I just want to once again thank REAP for all that you have taught me and for your guidance. Thank you for your shared belief in me; what you have planted in me is really growing and bearing such beautiful fruits. I think everyone at REAP should be proud to see so many of their alumni doing well in their respective careers.” “Keep shining and may REAP grow from strength to strength.”

Meet Sinenhlanhla Nsele (right)

Sinenhlanhla graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of KwaZulu Natal and obtained one distinction. She graduated within minimum time and is currently working as an educator at Madwaleni High School in Mtubatuba.

Meet Andani Mphaphuli

Andani graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. During his studies, he served as a mentor to first year REAP students for two years.

Meet Andile Tom

Andile obtained his degree in Pharmacy from the University of the Western Cape. Both the Departments of Health in Gauteng & Mpumalanga have shown an interest in hosting him for his community service.

Meet Avela Ngibe

Avela obtained a National Diploma in Biomedical Technology from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She obtained an overall mark of 81% for her practicals.

Meet Dumisani Shabalala

Dumisani graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He plans on pursuing postgraduate studies. Dumisani was awarded “Best Community Service” by REAP for his involvement in a clean-up and water conservation campaign at the Umsunduzi River during his service at Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust, which is located near Imbali Township, just outside Pietermaritzburg.

Meet Hlakae Patrick Miya

Hlakae obtained a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Central University of Technology. He completed his In-Service training at a company called SA Truck Bodies based in Bloemfontein.

Meet Likona Keyizana

Likona obtained a National Diploma in Environmental Health from Durban University of Technology. She completed her internship at GIBB Engineering and Architecture in the Eastern Cape.

Meet Loyola Ndletyana

Loyola obtained a National Diploma in Environmental Health from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She plans to further her education by registering for a Btech degree. Loyola served as a REAP peer buddy for two years and proved to be of great assistance to first year REAP students. She is passionate about reading and writing and won a book voucher when REAP piloted a “READ ON” competition in 2014.

Meet Lungisani Gumbi

Lungisani graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of KwaZulu Natal. His resilience and independence were qualities that particularly impressed his SDA.

Meet Mason Davids

Mason graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and obtained two distinctions. He is currently teaching Grade 10’s and 11’s at Klein Nederburg Secondary School in Paarl and also coaches rugby. For his community service he assisted at the soup kitchen in his local village and also coaches youngsters in his community.

Meet Nhlakanipho Ngubane

Nhlakanipho obtained a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He has been invited by the faculty to enrol for postgraduate studies.

Meet Ntethelelo Minenhle Dlamini

Ntethelelo graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is currently doing her internship at Stanley Black & Decker in Johannesburg.

Meet Philile Ngcamphalala

Philile obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal. She has been accepted to pursue an honours degree. For community service, Philile worked at the Manguzi Library where she assisted Grade 12 learners to apply for higher education admission.

Meet Sbonelo Mthembu

Sbonelo graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of KwaZulu Natal. His SDA commented that he was always ready and willing to assist others, thereby exemplifying REAP’s ethos of giving back.

Meet Victoria Manele

Victoria graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She obtained 6 distinctions. Victoria completed her practicals at a primary school in Port Elizabeth and developed such strong bonds with the pupils and teachers that she received great recommendations and was even encouraged to leave her C.V. just in case they had a vacancy in 2016.

Meet Virginiah Letsholo

Virginiah obtained her Bachelor of Education from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is now working at Thuto ke Maatla Secondary School in her home town. She completed her degree in minimum time and performed very well in her final year.

Meet Matimba Shingange

Matimba is originally from Tzaneen, Limpopo. She completed her degree in Computer Science and Computational and Applied Mathematics with an aggregate of 61% from the University of Witwatersrand. She was a hardworking student who was passionate about creating websites and developing software programmes. During her final year she was a peer buddy and also assisted students who were struggling with Programming. She is currently pursuing her honours degree in Computer Science measuring in Computational and Applied Mathematics.

Meet Zanele Ntombela

Zanele is originally from Port Dunford in Esikhawini and graduated with a National Diploma in Information Technology (Software Development) from Durban University of Technology. She is currently working at the City of uMhlathuze as Systems Support Intern whilst doing an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate) certification with the stipend she earns. Zanele intends to study her Btech in Information Technology at UNISA.

Meet Dowayne Koopman

Dowayne was one of REAP’s Top Achievers in 2014 and he is currently working at the City of Cape Town. He completed his National Diploma in Public Management at CPUT. Dowyane writes: "To Vatiswa, my advisor, my guide, my friend, my extraordinary mother, my psychologist when you needed to be; and my all-in-one student advisor. As our journey came to an end; our friendship started. I will be forever grateful to you and the REAP team for investing in me and my future, for always being a phone call or email away, for your ever-present presence and commitment to my education and development. Forever thankful and grateful, Dowayne".

Meet Lwande Royimani

Lwande graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Geography &Environmental Management from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He hails from the Eastern Cape, at Ngcobo. Lwande comes from a family of 6, including his mother and 5 siblings. His father passed away when he was young. Throughout his academic life at UKZN, he has always maintained good academic results because he wanted to pursue postgraduate studies. His dreams came true when he qualified to do his Honours degree in Geography and Environmental Management this year. He was also awarded a scholarship by NRF for his postgraduate studies. He remains a hardworking student and is determined to make a success of his life.

Meet Pretty Mathebula


Pretty is originally from Tzaneen and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Cape Town. She has been placed at the Nelson Mandela Bay hospital in the Eastern Cape to embark on her compulsory year-long community service where she will work as a qualified Occupational Therapist. For her community service, which was completed during the mid-year vacation, Pretty worked as a therapist under supervision at Groote Schuur hospital. She was also the captain of the UCT netball team and a floor representative at her residence. Pretty intends to return to the University of Cape Town to study a Master’s degree in 2016.

Meet Neithel Mashiane


Neithel is from Manyama in Polokwane and graduated with a BSc in Geology from the University of the Western Cape. He writes: “Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for taking care of my studies in all facets. The influence of your contribution can never be stressed enough. It is with great pleasure and honour as I humble myself and thank you for what you have done for me during my academic years. Thank you for making sure that my needs were being catered for at all times. The story of my life, experience and years at university can never be complete without a chapter on REAP and my ever supportive SDA, Robyn Pritchard.

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I found things a bit challenging, this maximised my potential and I quickly adapted and coped exceptionally well. With your monthly contact, I was able to withstand university pressure and an attempt to give up when I had a reason to. My course has been informative and made me think in global terms while I was locally bound. I am very grateful for studying in the city that I have always admired, Cape Town. It is just a dream come true. I have you to thank for it all. Please feel proud and join me in celebrating this milestone achievement, for it without your immense contribution, it would have probably been a dream even now. When I look behind through my academic journey, I am filled with immense joy and gratitude because of your belief in me.


Meet Shernee Fortuin


Shernee is from Rosemore in George and graduated with a BSc Degree from Stellenbosch University. She is the first grandchild in her family to graduate from University. This is however not the end of her academic road. She has applied for her post graduate degree at the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University. She is hoping to specialise in research on Cancer treatment. Her community service involved tutoring the Grade 11 learners in Mathematics Literacy at her previous school.

Subsequently, she has been invited to return to Winter School to once again tutor learners in Maths literacy. She is happy to assist and feels privileged to sow back into the community. Shernee’s Student Development Advisor has found her an absolute delight to work with and REAP wishes her all of the very best for her future.


Meet Dieketseng Sengoai

Dieketseng graduated with a National Diploma in Account from CPUT. She is from Oudtshoorn and volunteered to be a REAP Peer buddy (senior students who walk alongside first years and help them adapt to their new environment) for the past two years. She has secured an internship at Bureau Veritas for 2015.


Meet Asavela Vika

Asavela graduated with a National Diploma in Biotechnology from CPUT. She is from Mdantsane near East London. She completed her studies in minimum time and did her In-Service training at a company in Stellenbosch. She wishes to enrol for a B tech degree in 2015.


Meet Yonela Makhanda

Yonela graduated with a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry from CPUT. She is from Umtata. Yonela completed her In-Service training at Tronox Mineral Sands in Vredenburg. She will be furthering her studies by enrolling for a B tech degree.


Meet Xolisa Sikiti

Xolisa (left) graduated with a National Diploma in Travel and Tourism from NMMU. He obtained a distinction for Travel and Tourism Practice III. If he is successful in finding funding for his studies, Xolisa plans to do his B tech in 2015, otherwise he will be looking for employment and then save up for his studies.


Meet Pfunzo Mukosi


Pfunzo is from Lwamondo near Thohoyandou in Limpopo and graduated with a National Diploma in Biomedical Technology from the University of Johannesburg. She obtained a distinction (77%) for her practicals at the Helen Joseph Hospital, in Auckland Park. REAP wishes her all of the best for her future plans.

Meet Ronel Thomas


Ronel is from Rustdene in Beaufort West and obtained a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of the Western Cape. She achieved a distinction for Education 413, having attained an overall mark of 75% for the subject. Ronel has already secured a permanent post at a school in Mitchells Plain. In terms of other future plans she does, at a later date, intend to pursue a post graduate degree and is considering specialising in the Education Management field. REAP wishes her all the best for 2015 and beyond.

Meet Clive Mopeleti


Clive is originally from Kimberly and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cape Town, majoring in Film and Media Studies. His Student Development Advisor describes him as a well- rounded graduate, having explored a number of campus societies and engaged in community service, leadership roles, as well as vacation work that was linked to his field of study. Clive plans to move to Johannesburg, where he will live with relatives, while searching for an internship opportunity. He also has plans to pursue an honours degree in 2016.

Meet Elnoria Koker


Elnoria Graduated with a Bachelor in Commerce from the University of the Western Cape. She managed to obtain a distinction for Information Systems 362, achieving 78%. To keep busy while she is looking for employment she intends to return to her old school where she will volunteer her time assisting students applying to University. This is exactly what she was engaged in for her community service through the REAP Journey to Tertiary programme.

She returned to her previous high school (Montague High School) where she spoke to Grade 10 and 11’s; she enjoyed this experience so much that she is keen to do it in her free time of her own initiative. Elnoria was also a REAP Peer Mentor at UWC. REAP looks forward to following Elnoria’s career path and hearing good reports.


Meet Nosipiwho Afrika

Nosiphiwo (left) graduated with a National Diploma in Environmental Health from CPUT and obtained 2 Distinctions in her final exams. She is from Beaufort West and her Student Development Advisor describes her as a focused student, who always took pride in her academics.Nosiphiwo is currently doing her community service/ internship.

This is a requirement in order to be a qualified Environmental Health Practitioner. During her time on campus Nosiphiwo volunteered to be a REAP Peer buddy (senior students who walk alongside first years and help them adapt to their new environment).


Adventure on Marion Island

REAP Graduate, Alexis Osborne is a truly inspirational example of how a chance to study can transform a life and open unusual and even “icy cold” but exciting doors of opportunity. Alexis is currently on a 14-month research expedition on the sub-antarctic “Marion Island.” The project is funded by the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at UCT. Originally from Namaqualand in the Northern Cape, Alexis graduated with a BSc Biodiversity & Conservation degree from the University of the Western Cape in 2012. The degree includes a combination of both Botany and Zoology and provides a good understanding of the roles and functions of Fauna and Flora in our ecosystem. He completed his internship as a researcher at the UWC Nature Reserve before serving as an Environmental Officer in the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. A rare opportunity to go to Marion Island as a Seabird Research Assistant for the department’s Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology recently sent Alexis to the deep south.

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He says “…. It is quite an adjustment, but it’s a really beautiful place. I am counting my blessings every time I walk the island. I have seen various birds like Wanderer Albatross, King Penguins, Elephant Seals and Killer Whales...it’s just amazing!...” His responsibilities include long-term monitoring of breeding success of seabird species (Wandering, Sooty, Greyheaded albatrosses, Grey petrels and Giant petrels and various penguins) on Marion Island. This includes the monitoring of the birds on a regular basis for their health, behaviour as well as ringing the birds for conservation purposes. REAP wishes Alexis all of the best on his expedition and looks forward to sharing more news soon.


Meet Azwidovhi Tshishonga

Azwidovhi is from Makhado in Limpopo and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Free State in 2013. She graduated with a number of subject distinctions over her three years of study and has a number of medals and certificates in acknowledgement of her hard work and dedication and her efforts to help others.

Meet Mthandazo Makamisa

Mthandazo comes from Elliotdale in Umtata. He completed his National Diploma in minimum time, graduating in Town & Regional Planning from Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2013. Mthandazo took part in REAP’s Early Recruitment Pilot project when it started in 2012. He is currently in based in East London.

Photo: Mthandazo Makamisa with his proud Student Advisor, Vatiswa Mangxola

Meet Sipho Mabande

Sipho comes from Giyani in Limpopo. He started with REAP in 2010 studying at UCT, but later transferred to CPUT where he finished his National Diploma in Chemical Engineering. Sipho volunteered to be a REAP mentor in 2012 and was a great inspiration to the first years at his campus. Sipho is now pursuing his Btech degree in Chemical Engineering at CPUT.

Meet Lorato Chabaesele

Lorato comes from Ga-khunwana in the North West Province. She finished her degree in minimum time, graduating as a Bachelor of Communications at North West University in 2013.

Meet Kentse Seleke

Kenste graduated with a BSc in Geology from the University of the Witwatersrand in minimum time in 2013. She obtained a distinction in Statistics for Earth Scientists and is going to pursue her post graduate studies through UNISA. Kenste received an award for active participation in REAP's programme.

Meet Bernelee Clayton

Bernelee graduated from the University of the Western Cape with an LLB degree in March 2013. She hails from Ocean View, Fish Hoek in the Western Cape where she lives with her two younger brothers and her mother, a nurse, who is the breadwinner of the family.
Besides being a busy law student, Bernelee also finds time to contribute to the social upliftment of her community in her role as a Committee member of their church youth group, which hosts workshops on rape and abortion and other relevant social issues.
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After her very last examination in 2013 she applied for the position and has been accepted on the National Prosecuting Authority Aspirant Prosecutor Programme which is a 12 month internship, offered by the National Prosecuting Authority. This programme is driven by the need to equip new law graduates with practical experience required to pursue a career as a Prosecutor. The training is facilitated by Senior Public Prosecutors who have a maximum of 10 trainees that they mentor for the full duration of the training period. On successful completion of the programme an entrant can be offered an entry level prosecutorial position within the NPA’s National Prosecutions Service. Minimize

Meet Zelamasile Manyoni

In 2013, Zelamasile graduated with a BsC in Environmental Science from the University of KwaZulu Natal in minimum time.

Meet Sanele Justice Gamede

Sanele is from a small village called Mndobandoba in Swaziland. His father is a pastor and the family survived through subsistence farming. Sanele moved to South Africa in 2008 to further his education and, having completed his secondary education, he enrolled for a Bachelor of Social Science in Management and Media Degree at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2011. He was awarded a bursary by REAP, which was a like a miracle to him because he did not know how he was going to finance his studies.

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Besides studying, Sanele got involved in many student initiatives at UKZN. In 2012 and 2013 he was the chairperson for Student Dynamics, an organisation that conducts career guidance sessions in rural high schools in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This was his way of giving back to the community. Sanele is also passionate about writing, submitting articles to various newspapers on politics and current affairs. One of his articles was published in The Witness newspaper. He is an aspiring businessman and he opened a small tuck-shop while he was studying. In 2012 he was awarded a certificate for Best Entrepreneur of the Year by the Campus Business Association. Gamede completed his degree in 2013, and graduated in April 2014. His greatest desire is to work for the SABC as a news reporter or a journalist. He is grateful for the opportunity that REAP gave him looks forward to a bright future.

Meet Rebekah Naidoo

Rebekah graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Investment and Corporate Finance and Insurance and Risk Management from the University of the Witwatersrand at the end of 2013. She is currently studying towards an Honours Degree in Business Finance through a scholarship from the Rothschild South Africa Foundation.

Rebekah says: “REAP has played an integral role in my undergraduate journey. I’ve received support in every way possible. I am truly honoured to be a part of the REAP family.”

Meet Tshepo Khoetsa

Tshepo graduated as a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology and Organisational Psychology) from UCT within minimum time in November 2013. He is from Maboloka in the North West.

During his years of study, Tshepo served as a dedicated REAP mentor, known for his commitment and extra mile efforts in this role. He would often tell his Student Advisor about how passionate he was about working with young people and he clearly had a good understanding and appreciation for the principles behind community service. Tshepo’s Student Advisor believes that he exited the REAP programme as a well-rounded graduate which is REAP’s desired outcome of the university education experience. His journey with REAP continues as he joins the Alumni Network.

Meet Sphesihle Malinga

I would like to express my gratitude to REAP! Thank you very much for everything that you have been and done for us as students. On 14 April 2014 I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Social Sciences Degree in Geography and Psychology. I am currently employed by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and this is my third week at work at the College of Humanities Student Funding as an Admin Assistant. I am in the temporal position from 4 February 2014 to 31 May 2014. I am hoping for the best in future.

Thank you for the job preparation workshop that you hosted for us last year. I am experiencing and applying most of the things that I learnt from the workshop at my place of work. What you taught us has made me strong and able to survive in all situations. I am so grateful to REAP.

Meet Mathapelo Mpaketsane

I am writing to express my gratitude with regards to the support that you have provided throughout my studies. You will always be a part of me, you made me the woman that I am today, through financial, emotional, academic support and all challenges I came across in varsity. I am happy and content all because I always had you by my side. So many people never had the opportunity that you gave me and I am grateful for that.

The workshops you arranged for us were of great importance. They enhanced my self-esteem and confidence and contributed to me being a strong woman. You taught me to give back and now I believe it's my responsibility to always give back. I was one of the fortunate ones, therefore I also want to make others happy. Anything is possible - hopefully one day I will make a huge difference in someone's life by paying their fees too, help them become what they wish for.

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You taught us life skills, being a Reap Baby was a learning curve and at the same time my dream was becoming reality. Being a Mentor was the best of the best, it felt good, right and today I smile because I know I contributed something in someone's life. I can't help myself but in every instance you cross my mind. I just tell anyone next to me about you, what you did for me and my peers. Basically I want the whole world to know what role you played in my career.

I won't lose contact with you - who knows maybe ten years down the line I will be one of your sponsors, it is possible right? Thanks to everyone and the Student Development Advisors for showing us the right direction each time we lost our way or felt like giving up.

"At one point in 2009 I was literally crying because I felt I couldn't do it anymore and today I am laughing about it, I made it"

Much love from me to all of you!
Yours Sincerely
Mathapelo Mpaketsane
Bcom Accounting UJ Graduate Minimize

Meet Sfiso Vumase

When Sfiso arrived at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) to begin his National Diploma in Ecotourism Management, he had no understanding of how universities work. With REAP’s facilitation, he found things much easier than other rural students. He had another advantage: he was older than most first year students because, after matriculating in his home town of Manguzi in the far north of KwaZulu Natal, Sfiso spent three years teaching at a primary school before being selected for the iSimangaliso Higher Education Bursary programme, managed by REAP. In his view, the key is getting the right information at the right time, which took a long time to happen for him because of barriers created by widespread poverty in Manguzi.

When we spoke to Sfiso, he was continuing his studies with a BTech Tourism Management at DUT and tutoring first years.

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He had plans to do a Masters in Tourism and to return to his community and work as an ecotourism consultant, helping people establish businesses. He was also interested in working for the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority or Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife in order to contribute to responsible wildlife tourism that minimises environmental impact.

Sfiso was a REAP mentor and hoped REAP would progress and continue its work in education, which enables poor people to rise above their circumstances. He was also impressed by iSimangaliso’s efforts to plough back resources into its local communities, which made it possible for many young people to attend university and have productive careers. Minimize

Meet Khuliso Nedzingahe

When Khuliso arrived in Pretoria from a tiny village in Limpopo to begin a BSc at Pretoria University (UP) he had no money to register or buy books. He acknowledged REAP’s vital role in smoothing his path and helping him push several boundaries, including navigating the cultural differences of a UP residence, learning to use a computer for the first time and adapting to city life.

His first year in 2008 was a Foundation programme, which repeated much that he had learned at school. Together with the workshops REAP arranged for him and his SDA’s support, this made it relatively easy and he received a bursary from the Mining Qualifications Authority for his second year. Things got tougher then because the workload of his chosen Geology degree was a big challenge, but he passed.

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In his final year problems in his family prompted him to take a part-time job while studying full-time. As a result, he lost focus, failed a module and needed an extra year to finish his degree.

Like many REAP students, Khuliso had little time for socialising at university. He attributed his success to hard work and collaborating with his SDA, which helped him know himself better, set and pursue long-term and short-term goals and focus on his studies. His approach to pushing boundaries was to focus on what he was doing and where he wanted to go and not give obstacles undue attention, beyond taking care of his financial needs.

When we spoke to him, he was applying the many academic and life skills he learned through REAP in his BSc (Hons) studies in Geographic Information Science at UCT. He was driven by a desire to acquire knowledge and serve his country by uplifting others like himself who want to study. He found it painful to see people held back by lack of money and planned to become a REAP donor once his family’s financial situation stabilised so he could also sponsor registration fees. The REAP monthly grant was “awesome” for him, as was its family culture in which he felt he had acquired another set of parents to guide and advise him. Minimize

Meet Peggy Somana

I am a God-fearing woman who loves conversing, motivating people and debating. I was born in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and raised by a very strong woman of faith who taught me to have a love for God and most importantly, to have faith. She showed me that, in Him, anything is possible. This I witnessed first-hand when REAP came into my life. I joined REAP in 2008 when they offered me access funding to do my diploma in Industrial Engineering at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. I was very surprised when I received the fund because I had knocked on so many doors before but my mother had been determined that I would go to school so she somehow raised money for registration and said that she'd leave the rest to God.

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REAP helped me in so many ways during my years at varsity. They were more than just a financial help, in that they were a family to me. I met people that I still have friendships with today - brothers and sisters who motivated me and encouraged me in my walk of life, not only in academics but in making good, informed decisions that would lead to personal success. Our fellow students used to envy the support we received from REAP. They noticed that most bursaries gave you money and left the rest to you but that REAP mentored you and looked after your life holistically. REAP understands that life needs to have balance and they successfully created that balance for us through giving us mentors, letting us meet and encourage one another in groups, giving us life skills, workshops and seminars, providing us with student advisors that would guide us through varsity and counsel us when we needed help. They didn't stop here but also made sure we ploughed back into our communities through the community service we were required to do. I would say they successfully helped me become a well-rounded South African citizen.

I studied full-time in 2008 and 2009, received in-service training in Port Elizabeth at Transnet Port Terminals in 2010 and in 2011 I completed my diploma and graduated in April. I am currently living in Durban, working as an Industrial Graduate in Training at Transnet Port Terminals and have started doing my b-Tech in Industrial Engineering at Durban University of Technology.

What makes me most happy about my achievements is that I have been able to pave a way for my siblings and cousins that come after me. They are proud of me and look up to me, they have seen that it is possible to make it in life. It is very encouraging to know that you are an example to so many people and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be a role model. Minimize

Meet Eusebia Philile Jwara

My name is Eusebia Philile Jwara and I completed my matric in 2005 at Gobume High School in Umgayi Umzinto, which is in the south coast of KZN. I furthered my studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal and completed my degree within 4 years without a single supplementary or fail.

REAP helped me a lot financially, socially and academically. Support structures like one-on-one appointments with student advisers and various workshops on campus helped me a lot to survive the busy varsity life . The NFSAS loan I had was not enough to meet every need, but as a REAP student I managed to cover all my additional costs.

I would like to thank REAP for giving me a chance to be a student mentor. I learnt a lot from this programme and if it were not for REAP I wouldn't be where I am today. My student advisor was always so kind to me in so many ways. When I was in trouble I had no doubt that REAP would help me.

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After my final year I started my internship at Port Shepstone Hospital. As a REAP alumni I managed to survive under stressful conditions and passed all my internship assessments. REAP has developed me both as a professional and as a person. I am currently working as a Community Service Pharmacist at Bhethesda hospital in Ubombo, located next to the small town to Umkhuze. Minimize

Meet Motlatsi Mokoaqatsa

"When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal" - this reminds me of my former lecturer.

My name is Motlatsi Mokoaqatsa, I am 25 years old and was born and raised in a small Township named Ladybrand in the Free State. I obtained a National Diploma in Information Technology at Central University of Technology, Free State and graduated in 2009.

During my final school year, I was introduced to my family at REAP. At that stage, I was not at all sure of the direction my life would go. Coming from a disadvantaged family, my only goal was to help my family by putting bread on table. My contact with REAP dramatically changed my life

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purposes and ambitions. It was the first and the last interview I ever had for tertiary funding. I couldn't even think of applying elsewhere after I applied for REAP funding and by the grace of God I was one of the chosen to be granted a life-time opportunity to furnish my studies at a tertiary institution. This was a great blessing to my family as I was the first in the family to be able to study further. I therefore regard myself as door opener to those who are following me in family; they are always challenged by me. Thanks to REAP for making me the soldier I am today.
Through the entire 4 years spent at CUT, REAP was like my parents. If I needed something I knew I could dial the 0800 number and get through REAP family who would lovingly and full of care, help me on the spot. During the course of my studies, REAP assisted me with " EVERYTHING" from A- Z. I never slept on an empty stomach and I never battled to get study materials. After completing my IT studies it was a bit of challenge to be employed in the corporate world, however someone once said don't be selective when it comes to your career. During my matric year I was the best Mathematics learner so working with numbers has always been point of interest to me. Hence I managed to find work as a Temporary teacher at one of the Catholic schools in my area named St Benedict Intermediate school. I stayed with them for 6 months before being granted an Internship programme with Accenture which ran for 12 months. It was not easy to relocate to the city of Gold – Johannesburg, but I managed and now it's like my second home. I am permanently employed now by Accenture as a Junior Programmer working with SAP. I must say I enjoy my work and career growth is encouraged within this company. Finally I want to say: " Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great". Minimize

Meet December Mthembu

My name is December Mthembu and I completed my National Diploma in Information Technology (networking) at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in 2012. I am currently involved with "Activate", which is a Leadership and Public Innovation programme focussed on the youth in South Africa.

I am from a small, poor family where both parents are unemployed. My brother was the only bread-winner at home. I was born poor but destined to rise. I did not allow poverty to determine my self-worth .I faced many challenges but I didn't give up in my pursuit to study and achieve my goals. I was inspired by my former high school principal and my family.

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REAP helped me when I was struggling with tuition fees. It was tough even to raise the registration money from home. REAP supported me with meals and money every month. Without REAP I would not be graduating this year so I want to express my sincere gratitude to them for being so supportive. I am grateful for the caring Student Advisors REAP provided and would like to honour them for guiding me all the way.

I acquired many skills through the workshops REAP offered. Those workshops really helped and motivated us as students to face and overcome challenges. I have also managed to acquire work experience while studying as I was involved with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) where I worked as a student assistant in my institution's library. I also participated in the UN conference of COP17, with REAP supporting me all the way. I have no words to express my gratitude. I leave you with these words: "The higher the level you desire, the higher the challenges will be". Dr JM Makua. Minimize

Meet Yanda Kolanisi – Accountant with a Heart for Home

29 year-old Yanda comes from a village near Butterworth in the Eastern Cape which he still visits often, being what he calls a "home seeker". As attached as he is to home, he is currently experiencing the bright city lights of Johannesburg, where he works as an accountant.

Yanda's journey to the city began when he finished school and registered for a B Com (Accounting) at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in his province's biggest city, Port Elizabeth. Being the fourth born of six children, raising funds for this degree was not easy. Fortunately REAP assisted him for three years and he managed to secure a student loan from NSFAS. "I cannot put a price on how valuable REAP's support was," says Yanda, "not only financially but also in terms of life skills". He adds: "I used to think of myself as an introvert, but REAP taught me how to find myself and be myself."

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Upon completing his degree in 2005, Yanda worked as an intern at the port of Coega, near Port Elizabeth. After his internship, he worked in the supply chain section for a while before deciding that he wanted to build his accounting skills further. He was then given the opportunity to train through the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, who sent him to Johannesburg. After training, he was attached to Watermans Accountants, where he did his articles. He then worked his way up from junior auditor to audit supervisor in three years.

While Yanda has all the responsibilities of being engaged, having a child and being a significant contributor to his rural family's income, this has not prevented him from also being involved in the wider community back home. "I grew up in an area where few went far", explains Yanda. "Many don't see much of a future so they look up to me and I am now a kind of ambassador to the area." Together with some of his more successful friends from his village, Yanda has embarked on a project to make a difference in his community. They organise an annual cleanup campaign, give motivational speeches at the local schools and have sponsored a local soccer and netball team with kit and equipment. In his personal capacity, Yanda also sponsors the school fees of two learners and advises others where they can obtain bursaries for tertiary study.

Yanda has ambitions to run his own accounting firm, but it is clear that he is also nurturing many in his home community and will likely use his earnings to help many more."In my very first interview for REAP, they asked me questions about community service", Yanda recalls. "This was a big factor in my current community work since I started such involvement with REAP". "I feel strongly that you are always a member of the community". Minimize

Meet Amanda Peter – REAP Ambassador

"It's not about where you come from, but where you are going and what you are doing to make your tomorrow better" says Amanda, a 29 year-old BSc Physiotherapy graduate from Cofimvaba in the rural Eastern Cape.

After completing her Matric in her home area, Amanda managed to get a place at the University of the Western Cape, in distant Cape Town. REAP supported her studies in her first year by helping her to get a student loan from NSFAS. For all four years at university REAP provided Amanda with funds for books, transport and food as well as training workshops, counselling and academic assistance. This all-round support was invaluable, according to Amanda: "Even English", she says, "I did not understand it – it sounded like French to me! But they helped me to learn."

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When her father died in her second year, she credits REAP with helping her to get through and keep concentrating on her studies.

Amanda did so well in her course that she obtained several distinctions, graduated in the top three in her faculty and was given an award of merit by the Golden Key International Honour Society. She then undertook her internship at Pretoria Academic Hospital and has been living in Tshwane ever since. Minimize

Meet Lusanda Mtiya – Building Women's Sport

Lusanda has loved sports from an early age. However, growing up in Wittlesea, in the rural Eastern Cape, she could hardly have dreamed that one day she would be playing provincial rugby for KwaZulu-Natal and be in the training squad for the Women's national team.

Fortunately for Lusanda, sports was not the only thing she was good at, and having done well at school, she went to the University of KwaZulu-Natal to study Sports Science. With assistance from REAP and a student loan, Lusanda completed her degree and graduated with an Honours degree in 2006.

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Realising that there would be few opportunities in sports at home, Lusanda stayed in Durban after her studies and continued playing club and provincial rugby. Lean and athletic, her favourite positions are the full-back or wing. But despite her qualifications, she found getting a full-time job challenging. She thus did part-time jobs, including teaching physical education, being a trainer at the Virgin Active gym and odd jobs for the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union.

Lusanda's patience finally paid off in January 2011 when she was offered a job as a Development Officer for women's rugby by the Union, which she admits is her "dream job". Her greatest ambitions are to open her own sports agency and to study law so that she can advocate for the rights of sports people, who she feels are often exploited. On REAP's contribution to her life she says: "They gave me a second chance in life. I would never have completed my studies or been where I am today if it weren't for them". Minimize