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Report of 2014 Activities:  Annual Reports and Financial Statements 
 
Hillcrest Advice Bureau and Bursary Fund
 
A Better South Africa, One Degree At A Time... 
 
Summary Report Of Activities During 2014 
2014 has proven to be a turning point in the fortunes of the Fund both in terms of human and financial resources.
 
We welcomed two new Trustees - Mrs. Thule Gumbi and Mr. Mark Essey - and said a fond farewell to one of our Founder Members, Mary Grice, and to Peter Evennett, long term Trustee and Legal Representative for the Fund. Thule has invaluable experience with and understanding of the issues affecting school children and their families in the rural areas. Mark runs his own business and had previously overseen Roseway Waldorf school governance, helping the school to achieve the successful and sustainable position it is now in. Legal input is now provided by two co-opted Members - Philippa Hurley and Kevin Turner - who joined us as a result of the Kearsney College network.
 
Sadly we have to report the untimely passing of Rodney Midgely in November. Rodney's wise and succinct contributions to the running of the Tertiary Fund were not only effective and valuable, but have provided long term improvements in our systems. Despite his short time as a Member (just over 1 year) he is much missed.
 
With new Members has come a welcome increase in scrutiny. New Trustees have reviewed our criteria, methodology and systems with resulting significant improvements to the service delivered through the Advice Bureau, a general endorsement of services delivered through the Tertiary and School Funds and a desperately needed expansion of our network of Donors.
 
The dire financial situation of 2013 was resolved over the course of 2014 with three new Corporate Donors (SE Steel, Key Delta Pinetown and OnLine Print) joining us, many of our long term donors increasing their support and our appeal being accepted by two new Trusts/Foundations . We now have a contingency fund which will see us through 2 months for those times when donations do not arrive as hoped for. The excellent results of our work demonstrate the value extracted from each Rand donated:
 
  • 96% of our 49 Tertiary Students passed. 2 failed one module each and will retake it in 2015 to complete their diplomas. This is compared to the national average where approximately 20% of students who start tertiary education actually complete their qualification.
  • 80% of Tertiary Students achieved at least one distinction.
  • 110 Community Members assisted in obtaining their grants. This means 110 families, most of whom have a disabled family member, now have a regular, albeit small, income and can feed themselves, no longer starving or relying on food parcels.
  • Over 100 of the poorest rural area school children provided with uniforms
      
 
Tanya Harvey C. Eng. (Gas), B. Mech Eng., MBA
Chairperson, Hillcrest Advice Bureau and Bursary Fund
 
 
 
2014 REPORT - HILLCREST ADVICE BUREAU & BURSARY FUND - SCHOOL PROGRAMME
 
When the HAB&BF opened in the second week in January we received several requests for school uniforms. Detailed below are typical cases:
 
  1. Siyanda Msomi is 15 and lives with his granny as his mother has passed away. His father is diabetic, has fits, is HIV positive and on ARV treatment and is trying to renew his disability grant. Siyanda attends ukuKhanya KweAfrika School in Molweni – a school which until now has been unknown to us.
  2. Juliette Simbine – a 62 year old Gran has had a stroke and the left side of her body has been affected and disabled. She used to sell vegetables but is unable to do so now with her disability. She has 4 children in her care and visited us with her youngest granddaughter, Zanda who is 2 years old, spoke beautiful English and was a delightful captivating little girl. Her Mother gets drunk and has run away. We were able to help Juliette with uniforms for the other 3 children, 2 of whom attend Umzamo Primary School. We were warmly received by Mrs Sewpersadh who asked kindly about all at the Solon Foundation. 
 
Lungisile Khwela, the Social Development Services worker requested uniforms for some of the very poor children in her Ward, which we supplied. During the year we fitted uniforms on learners in the following schools: Siyajabula, Umzamo, Khabazela, Khanyakhwezi, Hlahlindlela, Gwadu Zenex, Kwabazothini, Laboure, Vusumuzi, Inkazimulo, Mathebethu, Inhlangano and ukuKhanya KweAfrika. Pam Tyler joined Rosemary on some of the visits which made the task much easier and so enjoyable and we look forward to working with her in the future.
 
One of the problems which we face is in the sizing and in future , especially in the High Schools, we are going to request measurements ie across the shoulders and perhaps a foot outline. The other problem is that we get requests then when we deliver we find that some of the uniform being worn is perfectly good. Obviously we then find other needy recipients to replace them. Fitting the shoes is a little like Cinderella and finding the right foot for the particular shoe!
 
Pinetown Bargain Bazaar have given us good prices and have been friendly and accommodating with all the returns.
 
We have paid transport costs for Thandeka Ngema at Zimela Centre for the Mentally and Physically Challenged and were thrilled to get a big smile and a hug from Thandeka when we visited the school.
 
Request for Food Parcels are never ending and we helped one of the tertiary students and a couple of children at Vusumuzi School.
 
Once again we are indebted to the Solon Foundation for their continued support and thank them for their donation of R26 000.00 - thus making this service possible. The Principal from Khanyakhwezi Primary School, Mrs Pam Sithole, said ‘Having a new uniform gives a child self worth and often improves their school work and behaviour’. We like to believe that we are making a difference, no matter how small.
 
Rosemary Dickinson School Administrator
Hillcrest Advice Bureau and Bursary Fund
 
 
Report of the Advice Bureau For 2014
 
 
Thanks to our Advice Bureau Trustee, Thule Gumbi, we have seen wonderful development within the Advice Bureau in 2014. Clients seen are up from 32 to 110 - indicating that locating the Bureau within the Community is the best way to access those in most need of assistance. The Bureau now operates from the African Gospel Church in Qadi, within KwaNyuswa, and is open 3 or 4 Wednesday mornings a month. We would like to thank the Reverend Ngcobo for allowing us the use of the church.
 
Collaboration with the Valley Trust Care Givers in the locality has led to us reaching more of those eligible for grants and pensions. Valley Trust also provides a monthly Health Clinic at the Advice Bureau. At the Health Clinic general health checks are carried out and Care Givers teach exercises and how to make healthy soup. People enjoy these activities as it is not easy to go to the clinic because of the queues. Photos can be seen on our Website www.HABandBF.co.za.
 
A surprise donation from the Greenacres Foundation has secured funding the increased service provision and enabled us to provide a Telkom (non wired) line which has significantly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the service. We can now 'chase' SASSA and other providers from the Advice Bureau whilst it is in progress with the client present, rather than, as previously, having to travel separately to Holy Trinity Church to use the telephone line there. We are very grateful for the phone, it makes the work much easier.
 
Food parcels are provided to those clients in dire need while their case is being assessed by the relevant authority. Additionally, since the arrival of the Advice Bureau, the Community has drawn together to create a monthly Soup Kitchen specifically for those community members with HIV or other illnesses who are starving. Sister Lane provides the soup ingredients and bread.
 
Problems resolved include the following:-
 
 
Problem 2014 R      2013 2012  2011
Civil Pensions       0 0 3 4
Child Support Grants  3 2 2 4
Motor Vehicle Accident  0 0 1 4
Foster Care Grants  32700 1 1 3
Death Benefits  2 0 3 6
Disability Grant  99 18900 24 4 7
Old Age Pension 0 0 0 5
Provident Fund   0 0 0 4
Workmen’s Compensation  0 0 4 1
Identity Book   2 3 0 1
Dependent Benefits 0 0 5 0
Transfer of File    0 0 1 0 new area
Share Entitlement  0 0 4 0
Issupol Insurance  0 0 1 0
Maintenance 1 48000      
Total 1  10 R69600 32 29 46
 
Report dated March 2015 By Mrs. W. Mtakwende ...................................................
 
 
 
2014 Report Of The Tertiary Education Fund Activities
 
Students
96% of the 49 students supported in 2014 passed. 2 students are retaking one module each. The majority of students achieved at least one distinction, with Bonga Bhengu (Final Year B.Ed. UNISA) achieving incredible results of 100%, 100%, 99% and 96% and being recognised in the local paper for his impressive achievements.
 
14 students completed their qualification. Two are continuing to study: 1 for B. Tech and 1 for her degree. Six students are already employed. The remaining 8 are being assisted in C.V. writing, interview skills and transport money to distribute C.V.s.
 
Thanks to Manzini Zungu and Thule Gumbe (Trustees) who separately spent a morning with us and met many of our students. Happily they were both able to endorse our selection criteria and understand the very pressing need for transport payments to enable students to access lectures and tutorials.
 
Finance
Income to the Tertiary Fund was +R694 000 during the year and expenditure was +R535 115 equating to average cost per student of R10 921 (2013 R7269). 58% expenditure was in Fees, 24% in Transport, 7% in Residence, 8% in books and 1.6% in Miscellaneous (i.e. stationery, student library and tutorial cards, memory sticks, internet usage time, phone-calls to academic mentor and cleaning/refurbishing donated second hand computers). Bank Charges accounted for 1.4% of costs. The balance of +R160 000 enabled a good start to 2015 with registration fees and book purchases being able to be paid on time.
 
Non-Financial Support
We are grateful to Community members who have donated goods such as interview clothing, desktops, laptops and mobile 'phones to distribute amongst our students. The issue of laptops has become pressing as many Institutions deliver modules and teaching support via the internet. Tutors expect students to be able to research using the internet. Our students do not have the financial resource for wifi or internet cafes. Institutions provide free wifi on campus therefore the laptops provide students with a cost free unlimited access to the internet.
 
We could not operate without the kind donation of premises, telephone and photocopying services provided by the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
 
Human Resources
We are very sad at the passing of Rodney Midgely in November 2014. Rodney joined our team in January 2014 and brought succinct wisdom to our interactions with students at the twice monthly Drop In Centres. Condolences to Rodney's widow, Myra.
 
Tanya Harvey C. Eng. (Gas), B. Mech Eng., MBA
Chairperson, Hillcrest Advice Bureau and Bursary Fund
 
Signed and Dated:
 

 

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