When I first learned about Student Sponsorship Programme, it struck me as a worthwhile effort that deserved support.
Little did I know at that time how important SSP would become and what a difference it would make, not only in my own life – but also in the lives of so many young people for whom the programme would prove transformative and empowering beyond expectation.
SSP has thrown open the window of opportunity for its young scholars – not merely facilitating their successful completion of matric, but also ensuring their entry into prestigious tertiary institutions and demanding professions.
The benefits of the programme are felt not only by the scholars themselves but also for their families, school and communities. For many of these families, even a matric certificate is a first-ever achievement, to say nothing of tertiary graduation and professional employment. For these families, SSP means dramatically improved life prospects and expanded horizons, providing renewed inspiration and hope.
The impact of SSP extends to the scholars’ communities that enjoy the still-rare benefit of having “one of their own” achieve great things – a tangible symbol of inspiration, encouraging other young people in the community to dream big and aim high. The schools the scholars attend also have the opportunity to experience processes of transformation and diversification that have been carefully thought through and that are well supported, instilling in all students a sharper vision of the South Africa we all strive to achieve.
SSP’s offering to its beneficiaries, their families and communities, their schools and the nation at large is one of hope and transformation, aligned with the principles of democracy, grounded in the values enshrined in our Constitution, and focused on fulfilling the vision of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united, and prosperous South Africa.
It has been my honour to participate as an SSP Patron. I have certainly gained more than I have given. My participation has allowed me to bear witness, at first hand, to a powerful formula for fostering greatness and shaping the future.
I look forward with keen anticipation to what we will accomplish in the years to come.
Written by the late Max Maisela, Executive Chairman & CEO, NBC Holdings, for the 2010 SSP Annual Report