The Western Cape Chinese Association of Commerce celebrated its second anniversary and launched a scholarship at a ceremony in Sea Point last weekend.
The scholarship will help 10 pupils in need from across Cape Town. The organisation said it was their way of giving back to a community that had accepted them so warmly.
The Chinese Consul General for Cape Town, Kang Yong, said that he was happy to be attending the event. “What’s important is that they decided to start this scholarship for the students in need.
“Ten students is a small number, however, it is a beginning. I’m happy to see that the Chinese community is making their own contributions to the local society.”
Mr Yong said the whole Chinese community was grateful to the local government and community. “They enjoy their lives in this beautiful city very much.”
He stressed that Premier Helen Zille had placed emphasis on education in her State of the Province address. She said that education was a game changer and he said he couldn’t agree more. “What the association did was extremely meaningful. In China we have thousands of years of putting special emphasis and focus on education. In China we regard teachers as parents.”
He thanked the teachers and principals who were present. He also encouraged the pupils to keep on working hard.
The City of Cape Town’ s deputy mayor Ian Neilson, said he thought it was wonderful that this new organisation was already giving out scholarships. “This in itself says something that this organisation has very quickly given back to our economy.”
Mr Neilson said the City of Cape Town was very pleased to see the ongoing investment of Chinese companies. “The production and jobs being created is already a significant contribution to Cape Town’s economy. In the end what government can do is limited and there is only so much you can do with the resources you have. If we want to succeed we have to work together in different ways. For those 10 students getting the scholarships, it makes a big difference and that’s what’s important. You are making a difference in their lives and for those schools as well.”
He encouraged the pupils to do their best and honour the scholarships by working hard.
Danie Human, principal of Bosmansdam High School, said that schools were in great need of help. “We would really like to thank the association for their investment in schools. Schools are in desperate situations and we need every little bit of help we get. We cannot support the students who are really in need like those sitting here today. I think that with this help today you can put these students on the path to success. It will be a great start to the career of these students.”
He said the investment by the Chinese community was greatly appreciated.
Gareth Eager, a Grade 12 pupil from Table View High School, said he was honoured to be the recipient of the scholarship. He said after he was nominated by teachers at his school there was an interview process. Gareth added that he would one day like to study psychology.
“My parents were shocked when they first found out,” he admitted. He encouraged other students to work hard and be themselves.
Tashriq Hendricks, a Grade 10 pupil at Bridgetown High School in Athlone, said he felt very lucky to be receiving the scholarship.
He hopes to one day study graphic design because he likes drawing and is good at mathematics. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.
The pupils, who were hand selected by teachers at their respective schools, will have their school fees paid for as long as they can maintain their good marks.