Three pupils from the sprawling Nkomazi region in Mpumalanga have been chosen to take part in an education programme in Asia!

Luyanda Mahlobo (17), Rodger Chinhangue (15) and Allan Phiri (15) were the only three teenagers from Mpumalanga to be selected among 200 youngsters from around the world to be part of Yale Young Global Scholars, held at Singapore College in South-East Asia, from 29 May to 6 June this year.

“I feel happy and motivated by this opportunity. It taught me to be more optimistic and confident towards education.

“I feel that I can achieve anything through working hard and having a sincere interest.

“I strongly believe in myself and that I can make it in life regardless of the challenges I face,” said Rodger, a grade 11 pupil at Sidlamafa Secondary School.

Luyanda, a grade 11 pupil at Luvunywa Secondary School, also expressed her excitement about the opportunity.

“I am beyond excited about the fact that I will soon travel to another continent. Although I may be looking forward to going to another country, I am more excited about the fact that I will meet other people who are interested about the world and global issues,” said Luyanda.

All three teenagers, from Komatipoort, were assisted by an educational enrichment programme for high achieving pupils called Imagine Scholar.

“Imagine Scholar helped us find this opportunity and discover who we really are and what our interests are. Our bursary did not cover our flights but they helped us in raising funds and the support we needed,” said Allan, a grade 10 pupil at Sidlamafa.

Megan Nellis, director of Imagine Scholar, said the three pupils were extraordinary teenagers.

“There is no doubt that travel changes you. It shifts your perspective on reality, it lets you have more flexible points of view, and it builds more empathy.

“Travelling to Singapore will do all this and more for these three pupils,” she said.

Mpumalanga Department of Education spokesman, Jasper Zwane, congratulated the three teens.

“We are very grateful as a department and a province to have young people who take education very seriously. We are also thankful to the programme that put effort to help us educate these children,” said Zwane. – AENS