Do you sometimes wonder what we do at Kulu Manzi all the time? Usually we give you updates about news from Cape Town, share the latest developments in our projects with you or tell you how our current protégé is doing at university. Today, however, we would like to give you an insight into our – well, maybe not daily, but regular – work for Kulu Manzi. It has changed a lot in the past few years.
In the early days of Kulu Manzi – when we were still called the Kulu Manzi Surfing Foundation – a large part of our work was supporting the local Lavender Hill children. After his first internship in 2012, Jan was on site several times for a few weeks or even months at a time. In 2014 he was there for five weeks and went to Muizenberg Beach with the children from Lavender Hill almost every day. This time, however, he also spent a lot of time convincing local companies to support the project and thus enabling long-term financial support. During his third stay in 2016, he was on the road for three months in southern Africa. This time the main task was to support the children with school materials, to get the best offers for them and to negotiate with various service providers. You can look at the result again here.
Our work has changed a lot in recent years. After successfully cooperating with Play Handball and Learning in Reach for two years and having set up some great handball projects and other programs in the education sector, we decided to expand our support to the university sector in the beginning of 2020.
Since April we have been supporting a student with a scholarship in cooperation with the University of the Western Cape (UWC). In spring, we started researching suitable universities and made initial contacts. After UWC responded and expressed interest in working together, we held some introductory talks with those responsible via Skype, discussed possibilities for cooperation and defined the framework. The first suitable student was found quickly: Our scholarship holder Rusche had already successfully completed his bachelor’s degree at UWC and was known to all university employees as a hard-working and committed student. After the right candidate had been found in Rusche, a cooperation agreement had to be agreed with UWC in order to regulate the exact scope of the scholarship and our cooperation.
In April everything was settled and the money for the first scholarship funded by Kulu Manzi could be transferred to Cape Town. Then everything was done – wasn’t it? Not quite. Our scholarship program does not just end with the transfer of the fees, but also includes a kind of mentoring: Since April we have been in contact with Rusche almost every day. He tells us about his successes, but also the many problems and uncertainties. Above all, Jan takes a lot of time and gives tips for his current situation, but also his plans for the future wherever he can. Once a month we discuss current topics, put together questions for the monthly update and create the report together with Rusche. We also coordinate with our contact persons at UWC on a regular basis. We discuss the progress that Rusche is making, but also problems such as a stolen tablet, a difficult home and a failed course that have kept us busy over the past few months. We try to find solutions for everything, which is admittedly not always easy in view of Rusche’s situation in the township of Manenberg. We also take care of our website: We write texts, look for pictures, update them and prepare new blog posts and updates on social media. Of course, we want to tell you about the progress and the latest developments as often and as best we can.
One of the most important things to do right now towards the end of the year is of course planning for the coming year. How much money do we have available? What can we do with it? How do we best use it so that our protégés on site benefit from it in the long term? It is always a very intense time for us and everyone involved. Especially this year we are also in the starting blocks with a new development for Kulu Manzi, which we hope to be able to tell you about soon.
We hope we could give you a first insight into our work for Kulu Manzi. As you know, as a private project we are dependent on great supporters like you. Without you, we would not have been able to implement anything we would have achieved in recent years. We could never have set up a college scholarship and Rusche could not have continued his studies. We would be very happy if you would continue to support us and if we could implement many more great projects together. An overview of everything we have implemented so far can be found here, our contact form and our email address here. If you want to support our project or just get in contact with us, just write us a message – we look forward to it!