Since 1999, the Kay Mason Foundation (KMF) has given 266 disadvantaged pupils access to a quality education and a shot at a brighter future.
The NPO held a gala fund-raising dinner at D’Aria Wine Estate in Durbanville on Thursday September 22. It needs R1.5 million for its sponsorships for next year.
The foundation gives high school scholarships and support to disadvantaged children. Each child get sponsorship tailored for them.
Novelist Richard Mason founded KMF in 1999 in memory of his sister, Kay.
He was 20 at the time and had just received his first cheque for a novel he wrote.
“I was standing in the shower when the idea came to me. I was educated and lived a comfortable life, but I knew that was not the case for many other children.
“I didn’t have the resources to help everyone, but I thought that I could build a bridge and help in some way,” said Mr Mason.
He spoke about the children the foundation has helped along the way, such as Nadine Moodie who now works for consulting firm McKinsey in Johannesburg.
She was one of the first four KMF pupils. She attended St Cyprian’s and later graduated cum laude in international relations, completed an LLB, and thea Master’s degree in journalism, all at Stellenbosch University.
KMF alumni and MC for the evening, Jessi Africa, matriculated with seven distinctions and a 93.4 percent average from Rhenish Girls High School in 2015. Given a full bursary to study actuarial science at UCT, she said none of that would have been possible without KMF.
Mr Mason urged guests to open their hearts and their wallets, saying the act of kindness and not money was the most important thing in the world.
KMF has a junior, senior and alumni programme.
The junior programme prepares Grade 6 pupils for high school, tutoring them in maths, English and science, as well as life skills and personal development. Those who complete the programme get a KMF senior scholarship.
The senior programme grants pupils a bursary to attend a quality high school.
KMF covers school fees, stationery, textbooks, uniforms and transport. The alumni programme prepares pupils for life after school, helping with study choices, career guidance and bursary applications.
KMF currently has 52 pupils and now needs to raise funds to help more in 2017.
KMF chairwoman Sue van der Merwe says it’s the “add-ons” which make the organisation exceptional and give pupils the edge.