Presidential trust beneficiaries to tell their story in a book

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma says he wants the beneficiaries of his trust to compile their stories into a book so that they can inspire others with how their determination changed their lives.

He said the stories of how the young people put their hardships aside and made contact with his foundation until they emerged successful in their respective careers is how he would like the Jacob Zuma RDP Education Trust to celebrate 20 years of its existence.

The President said this during the Presidential Golf Challenge Gala Dinner at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town on Friday.

“I want the story of these young people to be told one day, the stories of children who did not know where to go. Today they have changed the lives of their families.

“Some of them have helped other young people and therefore, they are contributing to the trust itself. We have found that after being helped by the trust, some of them have promised to contribute to the trust with the little salary they get to help others.

“On the day we celebrate 20 years, I would like … for us to produce a book which [tells] the stories of these young people so that each child can tell a story of how they made contact with the trust and what has happened in their lives, the lives of their families and their own vision for the country,” he said.

Among those that attended the dinner were Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni, golfers, sponsors and TV personalities.

One of the guests on the night was Soweto-born Sifiso Khumalo, now an advocate at age 24, who told guests of how his mother almost sold their family home to pay for his R52 000 tuition bill.

After stopping his mother from selling the house, Khumalo told guests at the gala dinner how business leaders he turned to for help shut their doors on his face before he wrote several e-mails to President Jacob Zuma’s office, where he got a positive response after the President read his letter.

The President later said this and other letters from other beneficiaries was a story worth telling.

“I have a lot of letters that I received from all the beneficiaries and I think they need to be organised into a book,” he said.

The President established the trust in 1995 while he was still a MEC in KwaZulu-Natal.

Since then, the trust has supported over 20 000 young people, most from disadvantaged backgrounds, with tertiary education fees.

After delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) annually, the President hosts golfers and sponsors, who contribute to the trust, for a game of golf and a gala dinner to thank them for their contributions.

President Zuma thanked all the sponsors and told them people who contribute to the trust do not need to be millionaires to do so.

He said he wants the book to show the current sponsors and those that have contributed to the trust in previous years that their helping hand has made an impact on the lives of young people.

“I would like for all the business people, who have contributed so generously for the trust to grow, to get copies of this book so that they can see how their contributions have helped the trust.

“It is also a story to be told to South Africans that you don’t need to be a millionaire to make a contribution. You can find ways and means to do it and indeed assist many people who in turn will assist the country.” – SAnews.gov.za

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