Caring for the Carers

Caring for the Carers

For over 45 years, StudyTrust has been empowering youth by connecting learners with potential to bursary opportunities.

It is this shared passion for unlocking potential and developing capability through education, that led StudyTrust to partner with Free To Grow in 2012. Since then, we have presented a range of Lifeskills programmes, adapted to suit the context of student life, to support their learners.

“StudyTrust has seen the positive and long-term impact of this experience”, says Dr Murray Hofmeyr, National Director of the Bursary and Student Mentoring Organisation. “Through attending Free To Grow’s Lifeskills programmes many students have been able to take a crucial first step in the restoration of their self-worth.”

Supporting StudyTrust Staff

Following two tough pandemic years, StudyTrust saw the need to extend support to their staff by ‘refilling’ their well-being cups. Staying Strong, our wellbeing programme, was selected to help staff top-up on resilience, optimism and ownership so that they could persevere during tough times.

“Our mentors and staff had to dig deep during the pandemic to support students to cope with unprecedented challenges,” says Dr Murray, sharing how one particular quote from the programme resonated with him:
“’Optimism is not about ignoring the difficulties in our lives or around us. That’s denial. It is not pretending that everything is perfect. That’s wishful thinking. It is about approaching hardship in a productive way, instead of in a way that makes us feel negative or hopeless.’ This quote from the beautiful Staying Strong workbook convinced me that it was just the programme we needed.”

The impact

The two-day programme was presented to mentors and staff virtually during May and June 2022. When asked about the impact of Staying Strong, Dr Murray shared the following:

“Participating in the expertly put together Staying Strong programme, guided by an excellent facilitator, not only replenished our internal resources but equipped us to better mentor students during tough times.”

The delivery of Staying Strong to StudyTrust’s staff was another milestone in their journey with Free To Grow. A relationship that is meaningful and important to Free To Grow, as recognised by founder and Executive Chair, Alinda Nortje:
“The work done by StudyTrust to empower South Africa’s youth and enrich student’s lives is close to Free To Grow’s heart, as we share a common focus on wellbeing, growth and development. We look forward to continuing to work together to open up opportunities for South Africa’s youth and create pathways to a promising future.”