The KiDS Foundation has kept accurate data since it’s inception in April 1994. Since that date to January 2012, 340 KiDS scholars have been enrolled, 116 are current scholars, 135 have matriculated and are members of the KiDS Alumni, 2 are deceased and the rest have either left the programme due to poor academic performance or a change of school (22 scholars i.e. 7%); been awarded another scholarship (9 scholars); violated the code of conduct (6 scholars i.e. 2%) or been part of the SOS Children’s’ Villages (50 scholars) with whom our contract ended in December 2008. In total KiDS is proud to have provided an effective 1611 years of education to financially disadvantaged scholars.
In 2012 the KiDS Foundation has 116 scholars enrolled at fifteen high schools in and around Cape Town. Scholars are enrolled from Grade 8 and the scholarship will continue to Grade 12 provided that the scholars work hard and maintain the standard as set out in the KiDS Code of Conduct.
Scholars are sourced through relationships with primary schools and our partner high schools. Scholars also apply having found us via the internet or after hearing about KiDS from other scholars. After an extensive interview process that involves parents and a means test as well, a KiDS Foundation scholarship is awarded to those scholars who meet the criteria as set out by the Foundation. The criteria are as follows:
- Financial need
- The results of a Maths and English test taken at the interview
- Motivation for scholarship (from school, parents and scholars themselves)
- General behaviour at school and elsewhere and reports from teachers
- Achievements, academic results (60% +) and commitment to hard work
- Individual talents and future goals
- Commitment on the part of parents/guardians to the education & care of scholars
- Acceptance at one of the KiDS partner high schools
Once the scholar has been accepted, the Code of Conduct is signed and it is made clear to the scholar that the Code of Conduct is their contract with us and violation of the Code of Conduct three times in one year results in loss of scholarship.
As stated above, one of the main criteria is that the scholar is able to maintain a 60% aggregate throughout high school. It is KiDS Foundation policy that, after school fees, academic support is our main priority and extra lessons in mainly Maths and Science are organized and funded. Progress is monitored and quarterly performance reviews are conducted with each scholar on a one-to-one basis based on their previous term’s report. Extras such as textbooks and uniforms are only provided in certain situations as parents and guardians are expected to contribute as much as they can.
The KiDS Foundation encourages its scholars to participate in all aspects within the school curriculum including sport and cultural activities and also provides get-togethers, life skills workshops, adventure camps and outings such as hikes for its scholars. These events provide excellent opportunities for scholar facilitators to get to know the scholars better and for them to bond with each other and develop camaraderie and an identity as a KiDS Foundation Scholar. The KiDS Foundation also celebrates the success of its graduates every year with a lunch that is attended by board members and the Grade 12 graduates. Registration Day is a function held at the end of the year for all scholars to register for the following year. Achievement awards are presented at this function.
Scholars are accepted from all races and religions with another of the main criteria being that the scholar has a parent or guardian who will offer encouragement and support where necessary and that the scholar has demonstrated a desire to achieve to their maximum potential and wishes to go on to lead a successful life and thus contribute to the future of South Africa.
A KiDS Scholarship is not a bursary that must be paid back but an opportunity for a brighter future through education at a good school. All that is asked by the KiDS Foundation besides diligence and hard work is that when KiDS Scholars graduate, they remain part of the KiDS family in the KiDS Alumni Society - and when they are one day successful in their chosen career, they pledge to sponsor a KiDS Scholar in appreciation of the opportunity they were given for a quality education by the KiDS Foundation.