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Richard Sales Bursary Fund Scholarship Report, Kgolagano College

March 22, 2011

The name Richard Sales will always be a part of the life and work of Kgolagano College. Richard Sales in not only significant to Kgolagano College as its founding Principal, but also because of  the new way of studying that he introduced to the Botswana community:  studying and working at the same time, as well as studying from wherever one is in the country. This new method of study introduced many people who had to that point in their lives given up the hope of studying, to new and live-long learning opportunities. This is why the impact of a Richard Sales Scholarship, regardless of the amounts that are available to support the students, is very important to our college and its programme. The scholarships come in handy and give life to the legacy and undying witness that the Rev. Richard Sales represented in our churches and communities.

We have over the last few years employed funds from the Richard Sales Bursary Fund to support deserving students that faced financial difficulties in pursuing their studies. Below are details of the students assisted and their current involvement in their various churches and such other community-based organisations.

Girly studied at Kgolagano College and obtained a certificate in theology. She was assisted with a bursary from the Richard Sales Bursary Fund. Girly is a member of the Zion Christian Church. Her church does not ordain women as ministers. We are, however, happy to report that Girly is actively involved in community work -- she runs a home-based care centre in Gabane about 20km west of Gaborone. Home-based care brings together HIV-positive people for counselling, sharing ideas, raising common concerns like stigma and discrimination, and issues of access to life-saving drugs. This is also a forum where these people discuss issues of preventing infection and/or preventing infecting their HIV negative partners. Girly Mothibedi plays the role of a leader and facilitator in this important fight to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Girly is very grateful for the support she received to further her education and acquire skills needed to play a leadership role in her community.

Lesego is a fifty three year old man from the Central District, about 300km north of Gaborone. For a long time Lesego has been involved in short term employments like on construction sites and such other work situations that are tied to the construction of a particular project. He has, however, been very active in his church, St Phillip Apostolic Church, for many years.  Lesego registered with Kgolagano College initially to do the Certificate in Theology programme. At the completion of this programme he proceeded onto the Diploma in Theology. It was at this point that as a person employed in the informal sector signs began to show that he was struggling financially. He was then indentified for the Richard Sales Bursary and we are happy to report that he has successfully completed his studies and is currently a pastor of his church in Palapye.

The Richard Sales Bursary was also used to support students that were studying with the college while serving their prison sentences. These were mostly young men between the ages of 24 and 30 years. These were identified as very needy students as indeed they had no form of income support. The Richard Sales Bursary was used to pay their tuition fees and this enabled the College to produce and distribute study materials within the prison environment. The presence of the College in the Prisons environment through contacts with these students was something very positive. The government of Botswana appreciated the role that the College was playing in this population. The student group which was spread across the country, in the various prison facilities, was a positive influence on the overall prison population. Due to the influence of these students some of the prison wardens began to register with our college.

We are unable at the moment to give detailed accounts of each of these students, their whereabouts and engagements. We are, however, aware that some of them have joined some of the churches and are serving in various ministerial roles.

Kgolagano College has now been officially registered with the Tertiary Education Council for offering Diploma and Degree level programmes. We offer a Diploma in Practical Ministry with the University of Pretoria in South Africa. This is an 18-month programme and it will be very good to support one or two people from the prisons system to study on this programme using the Richard Sales Bursary.

The Richard Sales Bursary has assisted very needy students as shown in this report like women, prisoners, rural community leaders and members of small rural churches to obtain theological education. In this way the bursary has been able to help empower some very needy people to play leadership roles with a sense of confidence. Kgolagano College will deeply appreciate continued support through this resource to enable more people to participate in the available training opportunities.

Received from Kgolagano College

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