Africa Foundation’s Community Leader’s Education Fund (CLEF) tertiary education bursary programme is not only a gateway to the dreams of young leaders within rural communities, it is also an initiative that brings value to generation on generation.
Operating since 1996, the CLEF programme provides bursaries along with psycho-social support to rural youth from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya. It was born out of recognition by Community Leaders, that to truly break the cycle of poverty in rural Africa, the youth had to access tertiary level education in order to gain the skills to increase their employability. This not only changes the lives of the graduates substantially, but the lives of their immediate and wider family, through the ripple effect felt by income generation within a family.
CLEF benefits from a number of graduates who have become ambassadors for tertiary level education in their communities – returning to their old High Schools to motivate youth to apply for college/university and CLEF. The ambassadors also play a mentorship role with the current CLEF students to support them through the challenges of university life.