Philani Family Fund: Empowering students and families to give back


Pumza with Andiswa and her daughter in front of their new home

Philani Family Fund (PFF) is a project near and dear to CHOSA’s heart, as its core belief in equipping families and communities with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty is central to the mission of CHOSA. PFF provides housing for families in desperate need, as well as bursaries (scholarships) for higher education and job training programs so that talented young people, and parents going back to school, are able to create a better future for themselves and their children.

Just a few months ago, PFF built a new home for a young woman named Andiswa and her daughter, pictured here in a photograph taken with PFF’s Managing Coordinator, Pumza Mafuza. Like most of the recipients of housing from PFF, Andiswa is currently volunteering at Philani as a way of “paying back” and showing appreciation for the help that she and her family have received. This ensures that the help Philani gives is not seen as a hand-out, but rather as a stepping stone to empower families and communities.

Also, so far this year, Philani Family Fund has given out six bursaries (scholarships) to students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to pursue an education. Four of the students – Nomnikelo, Thandokazi, Phiweka, and Lumka – are pursuing qualifications in health professions such as Home-Based Care, Emergency Nursing, and Paramedics. These young women hope to give back to their communities by helping others in need. Two other bursary recipients, Morris and Siyabonga, have been able to begin their first year of studies in Civil Engineering thanks to PFF. Unlike a traditional loan, the assistance that Philani provides is interest-free and personally tailored to the needs of each student or family. All of the recipients volunteer their time at Philani whenever they can, and plan to pay back the money upon becoming employed so that they can help other young people pursue their dreams.

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