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African Scholars Fund (ASF), through awards and guidance, assists promising young schoolchildren from the most needy homes to complete their secondary or TVET college education.
During the late 1960s, apartheid crippled black schooling, especially in the Western Cape where restrictions were so severe that these children usually sought their education in the old mission colleges of the Eastern Cape. At that time every race group had a separate school syllabus with its own text books and set books.During years of the worst apartheid, volunteers worked together in a private house. School protests in 1976 resulted in heavy-handed police tactics and widespread arrests which affected all our scholars for nearly 15 years. Some were arrested, some were tortured, many fled the country. On 27 April 1994, the day of South Africa’s first election, the organization moved to rented premises and developed into an establishment with paid office staff and an efficient computer environment. Though independent of the State, the ASF supports learners in the State education system and is the natural receiver of first-hand information about conditions in the schools and colleges. Contact with the Education Departments has been maintained irrespective of the government in power. To date, no financial assistance from the government has ever been received.The Fund relies entirely upon private donations. Since 1970, Funds in excess of R28 million has enabled more than 55 000 schoolchildren and TVET students to pursue their studies. Most beneficiaries are non-white learners although no racial distinction is made in giving the awards.Our whole intention is focused on the learner, for their care and their benefit. There is no other fund quite like this. Other organizations focus on putting our youth through tertiary education, but this is not possible unless there is a supply of capable students to start with! No student reaches university without first going to school. No artisan begins training at an TVET college without having first gone to school. In fact, there would be no students at the tertiary level unless they had successfully completed high school. This is what makes the organization so unique. It is an invaluable service that the ASF renders – we enable and ensure that our youth are properly schooled and prepared for further education.