Since the creation of its Study Trust in 2009, Helpende Hand has already awarded more than 12 000 study loans to 6 935 needy students – a total of R338 million.
The special milestone was celebrated on Wednesday during a glittering event with donors at the Sol-Tech campus in Monument Park, Pretoria.
“This year the Helping Hand Study Trust was able to help 1 030 students with R54 million for their studies. The good news is that we have already managed to raise R70 million to help students in the coming year,” said Hannes Noëth, executive director of Solidarity Helping Hand.
The dream for this Study Trust is that every student who wants to study can study. Noëth explained that the trust has already received thousands of requests from students and their parents to help.
“These are not just names, but people with their own stories who ask: Give me a future. We want to give these students hope and give their dreams wings.”
According to Lizelle van der Klashorst, chief operating officer of this Study Trust, the heart of the trust is reflected in the powerful symbolism of its vision statement which reads “seven generations of hope based on study”.
“This is why relationships are so important to us, because we work with a legacy from every donor who attends tonight – every contribution is more than just a loan, it is someone’s future. The stewardship of this is something we take seriously, because we realize it is a gift from Above. We are filled with gratitude for what we were able to achieve and a sense of responsibility.”
Van der Klashorst added that one cannot really put a price on the value of good training and teaching. “Still, there is a cost to not investing in it and if we can invest in it, we can make sure our community becomes a system of hope.”
Dawie Roodt, chief economist of the Efficient group and presenter of Breakfast matters, was the guest speaker of the evening. In his talk, he emphasized that the world‑ and the local economy are currently under tremendous pressure.
“Young people always ask me whether they should stay in South Africa or rather emigrate. They also often want to know from me what they should study. My answer is that I believe the future is going to look better, especially if you look at the past.
“Not only has life expectancy improved drastically over the past hundreds of years, but our economies are becoming more service and technology driven. So that means it doesn’t really matter where you work. You just need to be able to identify your risks and then manage them.
“Politicians like physical things, but as everything moves to a data cloud, it gives less control and makes the politicians less relevant.”
A memorial book was launched at the evening. The commemorative book captures the highlights of the trust over the past 15 years.
“It is a symbol of the blessings and testimonies of God about the work we have done. We are grateful to every person who has extended their helping hand in recent years to make it possible for young people to study.
“We dedicate the book to every student who has already been helped and every student who is yet to come. May they tell their children,” said Yolandi Theron, administrative head of the Study Trust.
A puzzle was also exhibited at the event which shows that the Study Trust’s success was not possible by one person alone.
“Here at Solidarity Helping Hand, we believe very strongly that if each person only manages, maintains and expands his puzzle piece, then the puzzle will be complete. Thank you to each person who added their part of the puzzle,” added Zander Botha, fund manager of the Study Trust.
Ruhan du Toit ended the celebration on a high note with music, but not before Noëth gave him a Family Bible from 1886 from his own collection to thank him for his contribution to Helping Hand and the Solidarity Movement.
- Visit www.hh-studietrust.co.za to find out more about the Study Trust or to support this trust.
- Watch a video here about what the Helping Hand Study Trust has achieved over the past 15 years: