Along with the many protocols and health concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic presents, the recipients of the Russel Botman Bursary Fund and other students face study challenges.
During a support meeting with recipients, they expressed the impact that the changes in learning have on their well-being and studies. They had to adapt from contact learning at school to virtual learning for practically the entire 2020 academic year. Despite these challenges, their resilience saw them through the year successfully. This year they had to revert to contact learning and the adaptation from the first year of university learning is also challenging. The latest changes in the restrictions of adapted Level 4 require a switch in orientation yet again.
These different ways of learning also have social implications and influence how students grow friendships and academic ties. They also must deal with being at home or alone all the time with only virtual social contact during harder lockdown regulations.
We encourage them to make use of the guidance and support shared by Stellenbosch University and to prioritise their well-being. If this support is not offered directly to each student, they should seek it out. We are proud of the resilience they continue to show and hope that all students manage to cope with the recent changes made to COVID-19 guidelines.
They also expressed that the alleviation of financial burden has helped a lot in reducing the stress they experience. This is exactly why we should together secure that their bursary opportunities are sustained. For all our sakes, let us continue to donate generously as an expression of our commitment to the call from former president Nelson Mandela to let our youth learn. Our future is in their hands.