March 2024.

The local solar plant’s initiative to empower the youth of the Boshof community through education has borne fruit, with the celebration of two graduates from the inaugural bursary programme intake. Notably, both of these successful candidates are women, underscoring the programme’s commitment to enhancing educational access for females in the community.

In 2021, Boshof Solar Power’s community bursary scheme, under the Globeleq Scholarship Fund, awarded its first study bursaries. This marked a significant milestone in the educational journeys of its beneficiaries. Among the achievers, Refilwe Judith Tlhokwe earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological and Agricultural Science from Sol Plaatje University, while Eveline Gaopalangwe secured a National Diploma in Human Resource Management from Damelin College, with both commendably completing their studies late last year.

Refilwe’s academic focus on Botany and Zoology was enriched by practical fieldwork, a highlight of her university experience. Initially aspiring to a career in Engineering, Refilwe has now chosen to deepen her expertise by enrolling in an Honour’s Programme in Biological Sciences at Sol Plaatje University, aiming to enhance her employability in her chosen field.

Reflecting on the impact of the bursary, Refilwe shared, “The bursary was a beacon of hope during a challenging period. Without any funding for my first year, the Globeleq Scholarship Fund’s support in my second year was pivotal. It alleviated my stress and depression, significantly altering my academic path for the better.”

The 21-year-old envisages a future where her diverse interests and talents can be applied in roles such as a biologist, botanist, zoologist, national park worker, lecturer, or teacher. Her natural affinity for these areas speaks to her potential for making significant contributions to her field.

The community bursary programme adopts a holistic approach to student support, prioritising financial need, geographic proximity to the solar plant, and gender, in addition to academic achievement.

This programme, focusing on students within a 50km radius of the solar plant, exemplifies a commitment to local community development and the empowerment of its youth through education. The success of its graduates is a testament to the programme’s value and the bright future it promises for its beneficiaries.

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