Founded by medical doctor, philanthropist and “chief dreamer”, Dr Vuyane Mhlomi, the MH Foundation offers scholarships to 10 learners, each selected through a vigorous process, who are entered into a programme of educational support, mentoring, personal and career development, and social responsibility.
Having had a challenging upbringing in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, where as an intelligent child with a yearning for knowledge and little support to nurture and develop this talent, Mhlomi had a desire to support youths in a similar situation, so shortly after graduating as a doctor he started up the MH Foundation with friends to ensure that other youngsters with talent and ability were given the opportunity to thrive.
The very basis of the MH Foundation is Mhlomi’s motto that ‘dreams, no matter how brilliant, if not met with opportunity, will die’.
A key component of the Foundation is that not only are learners supported but that the process is transformative; transforming not only the individuals, but also their families and communities from the inside out. The Foundation aims to produce strong and socially responsible leaders and members of their communities through its various programmes.
Grade 8 learners are invited to apply for the scholarship and their selection is based not only on academic excellence, but also leadership potential and a desire to improve their society and the lives of others. The learners remain in their schools during the programme so that they may inspire and support others.
Through the Foundation, the learners’ school fees, uniforms and stationery are covered, however, they are also given the necessary tools to fulfil their potential and become leaders in their communities through:
• Tutorial services and a supplementary syllabus;
• Mentoring services by professionals in training across various careers and with a similar background;
• The MH book club which introduces them to a world of literature over and above the prescribed curriculum;
• Personal development programmes in which each learner identifies an area of specialist interest, and can choose either new languages, arts & culture, sports, leadership or music;
• A social upliftment programme which includes adopt a scholar, school improvement and community development projects;
• A real dreams project in which each learner is encouraged to follow their dreams and are supported through real-life experiences to make their dream more tangible and help bring the dream closer;
• Communication support;
• Monitored, evaluation and assessment on the progress of each learner; and
• Sustainability that ensures that the skills and tools learnt has an impact on the greater community.