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Accelerating access to education

JB Marks Education Trust Fund is empowering young people with information and access to education opportunities.

The JB Marks Education Trust Fund is celebrating 21 years of making education accessible to the youth of this country this year.

For over two decades, the education trust has been empowering learners with access to information and education opportunities focusing mostly on those who come from disadvantaged communities.

It was established by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to address the needs to empower its members and their dependants, particularly those graduates entering the mining, energy and construction sector.

In keeping up with the spirit of Youth Month, the JB Marks Education Trust Fund been engaged in panel sessions and hosted guest speakers from South Africa and from as far as Swaziland.

They have also embarked on high school tours with an aim of helping learners with knowledge and career guidance.

The Trust has done this in collaboration with its alumni, who have all volunteered to get involved and help plough back.

“2018 is a year for our organisation to not only inspire but to be inspired, particularly because the trust fund is celebrating 21 years. It is a humbling experience to see the growth and development of our beneficiaries from the first year of tertiary to graduation.

“Most of them join the Trust Fund as emotionally wounded young people, who had to grow up too fast, but through our various capacity building programs, we nature them and we help them become the best possible versions of themselves. We help them reach their full potential,” said Welsina Sekanka who is the organisation’s Marketing, Communications and Alumni Officer.

The JB Marks Alumni Career Guidance Days are designed to guide scholars in making informed career choices when transitioning from high school to tertiary, and also make them aware of the various financial aid programmes available for them.

This platform is unique in that it allows JB Marks graduates an opportunity to provide insights that allow scholars access to information and additional resources that inspire them to thrive through education.

Sekanka explains, “As JB Marks Education Trust Fund, we have the mandate to ensure that members and dependents of the NUM can pursue any career of their choosing, be it in medicine, engineering, journalism, drama, aviation, science or IT – we open the world and give our beneficiaries the kind of access that was denied to their parents.

“By so doing, we are simply driving home the narrative that a child of a mineworker can become a medical doctor or a multi-millionaire businessman/woman.”

Since its inception in 1997, the Trust Fund has increased its intake from 53 beneficiaries to 330 per annum in 2018.

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