Read all about what Sumbandila has been up to this month!
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The Sumbandila Scholarship Trust

June Newsletter                      
Hello Dear Friends!

The Cash & Rocket Tour 2015

The purpose of the Cash & Rocket European tour is to raise money for the three charities: Sumbandila (South Africa), Shine on Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone) and O-Africa (Ghana). 35 Teams consisting of two women each, harness their respective networks to raise funds as they drive in trendy red sports cars from city to city in Europe over a perioud of four days. This is Sumbandila's third year as a partaking organization.

On Friday 15 May Leigh Bristow arrived at the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane London as part of the 2015 Cash and Rocket tour. She was joined by Lisa Lovatt-Smith and Tiffany Parsons from OAfrica and Shine On Sierra Leone. The evening was hosted by the glamorous Julie Brangstrup, founder and director of Cash & Rocket.

On auction was an Aston Martin Vanquish personalised by Pierpaolo Piccioli, one of the creative directors of Valentino. This was purchased by Sir Philip Green of Topshop and then generously donated back for re-auction.

On Saturday, 16 May, 35 red luxury sports cars branded with Valentino, Maserati,, Vault Couture, The Dorchester, Vitaviva, McArthurGlen, Chopard and more set off to France. Leigh Bristow and her partner Sam Corsellis were driving a vintage Aston Martin DB6. They arrived at Place Vendome in Paris and were hosted that evening by Valentino at the Valentino headquarters.

The next day of the tour was spent at Château de Pizay in Lyon, France. That evening the three films sponsored by the Harbers foundation depicting each of the charities was shown on a huge screen in the courtyard of the Château. This was an emotional event showcasing the remarkable work achieved throughout Africa as a result of Cash and Rocket's unique fund raising initiative.

The following day all 35 cars drove into Milan and were hosted that evening by Franca Sozzani, the Editor in chief of Vogue Italy.

The tour ended on 19 May in Cannes, coinciding with the last day of the Cannes Film Festival with a glamorous cocktail party on the roof of the Martinez Hotel.

It is important to remember that the cost of the trip itself is covered entirely by sponsors and by the participating ladies. Hundred percent of the money raised by the auction and the women and their networks goes directly to the charities without any deductions.

In total cash and rocket managed to raise the stunning sum of £546,812.47. 

Leigh Bristow would like to thank all the generous sponsors of her team 007, many of whom were South Africans. Team 007 is listed number 15 of the 35 teams in terms of total funds raised, which is a remarkable achievement. Thank you!

The most funds were raised by Team 1 - Chloe Green (Britain) and Angelica Donati (Italy/US), and Team 27 - Maria Grazia Chiuri (Italy) from Valentino. Sumbandila is incredibly thankful for their outstanding contributions.

Sumbandila looks forward to take part in next year's Cash & Rocket tour!

Visit to August Schippers Foundation, Utrecht

After the Cash & Rocket tour, Leigh flew to the Netherlands to meet with Bart Fuijkschot and the Board of the August Schippers Foundation, long standing funders and supporters of Ridgeway College and Sumbandila. She then returned to London to meet with Philip Hewitt, our student counselling consultant and advisor and long-time partner. She also visited Marwyn Investments, a major sponsors of Cash & Rocket and Sumbandila's founding partner.

A special Saturday School 

On Saturday 13 June our Sumbandila Outlier Students were given a presentation on the dangers of drug abuse in our society, which unfortunately is a serious problem amongst our youth today. Mr. Mbewe, the director of SANCA (South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence), highlighted the many damaging effects of different kinds of substances and provided all students with informative pamphlets. 

In anticiaption of Youth Day on June 16, Mike Linden, a long serving trustee of Sumbandila, gave a talk to the Sumbandila Outliers on 13 June about the importance of reading as a gateway to the past and a means of empowerment in the present and future.

16 June 1976 saw the black youth of Soweto march against Afrikaans medium education, a protest that turned into a devastating massacre as South African police opened fire on the thousands of children and students. Youth Day is celebrated on the 16th of June every year in remembrance of the struggle for better education in Apartheid South Africa.

In light of the Soweto uprising, our students who are all 'born-frees', were asked to consider how free they are as South African youth, and to reflect on what Youth Day really means to them in terms of their education and future. Students left inspired to find out more about our history and use the Sumbandila reading resources to get informed. Our upcoming Outlier holiday school will continue the theme of youth day through documentary screenings and drama workshops which will culminate in a special Outliers drama presentation for Cash & Rocket in September. 

Sumbandila hosts BEE Function

On 10 June Sumbandila hosted a special function aimed at generating local business support and awareness about our organization. With our great partnerships abroad, like Cash & Rocket and The August Schippers Foundation, and in Urban South Africa, like Studietrust and the DG Murray Trust, Sumbandila also has to nurture its bonds with local businesses at its headquarters in Louis Trichardt. Businesses can score significant BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) points by getting involved with Sumbandila on a number of levels. Guests were shown a film about Sumbandila and Ridgeway's origins and its journey to becoming an internationally recognized and supported NGO. Natasha Mostert, a co-founder of Ridgeway College, gave a BEE presentation with useful tips and pointers on how their businesses can benefit through interactions with Sumbandila and other such organizations. 

Sindiso Rabulanyana 

Sindiso Rabulanyana was taken into full care by Sumbandila in 2008, when his sister Sandra Rabulanayana received the full Sumbandila Bursary as part of the very first selection of children. At this time. Sandra and Sindiso were orphaned when their mother passed away in early 2008. Today Sandra is one of our top students currently studying civil engineering at the University of Pretoria. Sindiso’s dream is to become a chef. Thanks to Madi a Thavha, a local guesthouse which enjoyed the company of the Cash and Rocket ladies in November 2014, he has become apprenticed to the wonderful chef, Percy. We are delighted to receive reports that Sindiso is doing well and working extremely hard. If he can prove to Sumbandila that he is committed to this career choice, we will be sending him on various cooking courses.

Sumbandila Testing 2016

Testing for new Sumbandila scholars for 2016 is well under way. Headmasters in schools throughout the Vhembe district have received the application forms to hand to students and the first testing venue will be at Ridgeway College and Mphephu High on 25 July. Subsequent tests will take place at Tshisimani Primary and Bungeni Primary. Final interviews will be held on 12 September and successful candidates will be informed the following week. 

Leigh Bristow receives Rotary award
Leigh with Godfrey Went (past Rotary Louis Trichardt president) and Ian Bannatyne (outgoing local Rotary president)
On Saturday 13 June Leigh was honoured by rotary Louis Trichardt with a Paul Harris Fellow award. This award is given by Rotary in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world. Leigh was thrilled to be the recipient of this award which will help raise awareness and support for Sumbandila in the local community. 
Mr. Bruce Wells, Principal of Ridgeway College, speaks at Sumbandila's Function.

Sumbandila hosts Ridgeway Staff

Sumbandila hosted the staff of Ridgeway College and Indepemdent School on 4 June to celebrate the union between the two institutions, and to welcome Leigh back from her successful Cash & Rocket trip. The bond between Sumbandila and Ridgeway cannot be overstated. Ridgeway offers Sumbandila students a world class education, whilst Ridgeway gets to boast both a cultural and economic diversity to all its students; a testament to real nation building in South Africa. Mr. Bruce Wells, principal at Ridgeway, spoke about his deep appreciation of Sumbandila for allowing Ridgeway, a world class academic school, to open its doors not only to full-time Sumbanidla students with full residential bursaries, but also on Saturdays and holidays to 136 students from neighbouring schools, who are tutored in key subjects so that they have a realistic chance of going to university. After wathcing Vanity Fair's web episode on Sumbanila, and Harbers Foundation's film on Rosy Mudzananie, Ridgeway and Sumbandila staff were moved by the stories of children's lives who have been transformed by Sumbandila.  Despite the cold, a wonderful evening was had by all. Everyone huddled around the gas heaters on our lawn whilst munching on some tasty burgers and cupcakes.

View a video of the function here:

Babies Under Baobabs

For this new pre-primary project of Sumbandila, Emily has linked up with Nali Bali, a Cape Town-based NGO specializing in reading development in children whose mother tongue is not English. On the 12th and 13th of June, Sumbandila hosted a Nali Bali training sessions (12/13 June) for the staff of BUB's nursery schools and neighbouring nursery schools. The session was hosted by Nali Bali trainer Rinae Sikhwari. Rinae spoke Tshivenda, the mother tongue of most of the teachers present. This and her infectious enthusiasm made the course exceptional. As South Africans we are great storytellers but our children are being introduced to television and are no longer drawing from their own unique imaginations. The Nali Bali workshop was not only useful for the teachers in terms of lesson plans and practical activities but also inspired them to encourage our young minds to be proud of their imaginations. With an empowered imagination there is no limit to what the human mind can achieve.

Hostel Computer Room

Our Sumbandila borders have been enjoying the new computer room in the hostel, used for assignment research and internet browsing.
New Cook for Hostel

Sumbandila welcomes Sheila Mulaudzi, our new hostel cook who started at the beginning of June. 

University Exams

All our university students have now completed their first semester exams and are enjoying a well-deserved break. We hope to share some good news once all the results have been published – watch this space!

University Applications

We are making good progress with our University applications for 2016 and our students have already started receiving offers! As always there is a huge amount of paperwork involved in both applications to University and for Bursaries. The students, both Residential and Outliers, will be starting their winter exams in the next week. They will attend our winter holiday school in the first week of July, where we will be having an intensive NBT (National Benchmark Test) prep week, before they write their NBT, similar to UKCAT, on Saturday 4 July in Polokwane.

New Sumbandila University House
Sumbandila is delighted to announce that thanks to Cash and Rocket 2015 we are able to purchase a house for our university students. We can only take occupancy for our students at the start of 2016 but this will enable us to have our students living together as a family which gives essential support so desperately needed for the trials of university life. Pretoria University currently hosts the majority of our students, so the house is located close to the University of Pretoria in Melville Street. As from January 2016 we will have at least 20 students in residence. Students with full bursaries will pay rent but those who do not have university funding will be subsidised in the form of a loan. University accommodation is scarce and expensive, and as our numbers at university grow this is an essential part of our development. Thank You Cash and Rocket!

Sumbandila Database 

Since our first selection process in 2007, Sumbandila has accumulated data, including testing scores, exam results, university results, personal student information and data from our schools. Mr. Vincent Chasserieau, a computer programmer, is currently designing a database specifically to accommodate our needs. This is an essential and exciting part of our development.

Kind Regards
Leigh Bristow
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