SEVEN young women are now ready to break intodifferent fields and help grow our economy thanks to the CellCgirl Bursary Fund.

Since the fund’s formation back in 2015, a total of 19 students have graduated in the fields of ICT, medicine, law, finance, commerce and marketing – and have already found employment.

Suzette van der Merwe, a managing executive at Cell C, said they are proud of these young women, all of whom are the first in their families to earn a degree.

“If we want to achieve gender equality in South Africa, we need to build it on education as education empowers women with knowledge, skills, self-confidence, social and economic status. These qualities enable them to go out and actively contribute to our economy and create a better nation for all.”

A partner of the Cell Cgirl Bursary is the non-profit organisation, Tomorrow Trust. It provides social development and academic support.

“We hope to unlock South Africa’s potential by providing world class education programmes.

These young graduates are an inspiration. Despite their backgrounds and challenges, they have led by example and working hard to complete their studies. They are contributing to a better society,” said Tomorrow Trust’s CEO James Donald.

Paula Hopetown, a recent law graduate from Wits University, said: “I studied law because I have a passion for fighting for the rights of ordinary South Africans. This bursary has helped me realise that dream.”

Nelisiwe Mfabe, who earned a marketing communications qualification, said: “Without the bursary to help me, I would have given up due to a lack of funds. It has helped me improve both mine and my family’s lives too.”

Over the years, the bursary fund has also received support from various partners such as DNI, Huawei, Hellocomputer, MerSETA, Absa and Cell C shareholders.

The money provided by the bursaries cover registration, tuition fees, books, accommodation, a monthly allowance, Cell C data and internet-connection equipment.

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