Georgina Makhae

Georgina was a grade 10 student at Morakolo Secondary School in a small village, Shongoane 3 – just outside Lephalale in Limpopo Province. Georgina was raised by her grandmother, who had to take care of her, her two siblings, as well as her aunt’s three children.

Georgina’s school didn’t have a laboratory where learners could perform Physical Science experiments. Then, with great thanks to Murray & Roberts, TRAC was able to establish its intervention in five schools in the area, of which Georgina’s school was one.  TRAC’s presence in her school changed this situation, enabling learners to use state-of-the-art Physical Science technological equipment to execute experiments in small groups. TRAC’s intervention extended to weekends and holidays with extra lessons to help them bridge knowledge gaps and grasp crucial Physical Science content. Subsequently, Georgina’s Physical Science results improved from 58% in grade 11 to 80% in grade 12.

“Because of my unstable financial background that I am from I wanted to further my studies.”

But Georgina didn’t have access to a computer to do online applications. TRAC assisted her to complete online applications to institutions of higher learning and apply for funding for her intended tertiary studies.

In January of 2017, Georgina was informed that she was accepted to study at Stellenbosch University.

“I could not make it to Stellenbosch before the first-year welcoming program because I did not have funding for my studies and no money to travel to Stellenbosch.”

Then Georgina received the good news that her Lephalale Municipality bursary application was successful. Her aunt gave her the money needed for her bus ticket to Stellenbosch.

“I immediately left for Stellenbosch with only a few items of clothing in my bags.”

Whilst on the bus on her way to Stellenbosch, Georgina was informed that the closing of registration was that same evening at midnight.

“This was a big problem for me, because the bus I was travelling on takes two days to arrive in Stellenbosch. I panicked as I realised that I could have travelled for nothing and might have to return back home.”

The director of TRAC, Ms Debbey Olivier, assisted Georgina with her registration by communicating with her telephonically while she was on the bus to Stellenbosch.

“I shared the necessary information with her to enable her to do my online registration. When the registration system did not accept my first-choice subjects, she advised me on other subject combinations which I could take. Together we made the right choices, and I was registered before the deadline.”

TRAC mentors and supports students at Stellenbosch University. It’s crucial that students are supported in making a smooth transition from home to varsity and from secondary to tertiary education.

“A few days after I arrived at Stellenbosch University, Madam Debbey asked whether I was okay and whether there was anything that I needed. I realized that I did not bring enough clothes and any blankets.” 

TRAC arranged to have Georgina’s extra clothes and warm blankets to be sent to Stellenbosch. It was delivered to her at her hostel, Minerva, by the TRAC staff on the campus.

Four years later, with an attitude of absolute perseverance, Georgina is a BSc (Earth Science) and a PGCE graduate.

TRAC has come full circle in the life of this talented young woman! We must thank Murray & Roberts for making it possible to impact Georgina’s life. Congratulations Georgina, we are proud of you!