I no longer say I have a dream. I say I have a plan.
In November 2010, Martha T. Cummings, UP Executive Director, traveled to Motherwell Township, South Africa, to visit her friend, Ndumi Tutani, a masterful educator. At one point in the visit, Ndumi singled out Grade 9 student Nosipho (pictured left in 2018) as "someone special," so Martha spoke with Nosipho and encouraged her to work hard and get in touch when she had finished Grade 12 and passed the matric, the requirement for studying at university. Nosipho said, "I promise I will. I promise." Before Martha left, she photographed Ms. Tutani with Nosipho, asked for Nosipho's address, and told her she would send her the photo as a reminder of her "promise." And that was that, right? No.
Three years later, Martha went to her mailbox in the USA one day to find a letter with a return address she did not recognize. It was from Nosipho, who had written to tell Martha that she had worked hard, had taken the matric, and believed she had passed - but she would send her results when they arrived. Days later a second letter appeared with her matric certificate inside. Nosipho was heading to university to study Accounting.
Nosipho soon applied to and was accepted into our Uphuhliso program, which - thanks to her loyal sponsor - has provided her with scores of supplies to assist her at university: anything from pens and paper to a laptop. Each time, without fail, Nosipho was gracious and grateful and assured us that, although the field of Accounting was difficult, she would pass. It turns out, though, that she has not merely passed. In fact, in a recent phone call with UP, Nosipho revealed that the Head of Taxation at University of Fort Hare (Nelson Mandela's alma mater) recently honored her for earning Top Marks in Taxation 3 (left).
During that same phone call, Nosipho also discussed a portion of her Uphuhliso application that read, "When you return from university, what will you do to give back to learners in your high school?" In June 2018, Nosipho visited her old school to meet with Grade 12 learners. "While their university applications had been completed, they did not have any knowledge about how to fund their studies further. So I volunteered myself to help them on anything that they will need."
At the very end of our recent talk, Nosipho said, "I no longer say I have a dream. I say I have a plan." Ahh. Those words warm UP our heart. If you would like to be a part of these efforts and amazing outcomes, please click here to let us know.