The Women’s Property Network (WPN) was established in early 2000 to create a forum for women in a predominantly male industry to join together to exchange information, develop business contacts and enhance professional success.
WPN bursaries awarded to women in property
This year has been no exception, and a total of 13 bursaries totalling in excess of R500 000 (tuition and learning material fees) have been awarded to the students studying at various institutions across the country.
All the applicants were deserving in terms of personal circumstances, had achieved in excess of 60 percent average and showed a passion for the property industry. The WPN did not have sufficient funds to award all of the bursaries, and embarked on a fund raising initiative in February to register the WPN as a charity entry into the Two Oceans Marathon, and friends of WPN ran to support the charity.
Companies within the property industry were also challenged by Amelia Beattie, one of the Educational Trust’s Trustees, to pledge support to WPN for the awarding of 2014 bursaries. The response was overwhelming and within 48 hours of the request having been made, over R200 000 had been pledged.
In addition to these pledges, Delta Property Fund also made a significant contribution of R500 000 to the Educational Trust, thereby ensuring that all thirteen bursaries could be awarded.
This is according to WPN Chair, Sanett Uys, who says they have been overwhelmed by the generous support of companies in the industry and the WPN members who have contributed in their personal capacities. “On behalf of the WPN Executive, I would like to thank contributors for their support. The WPN Educational Trust is a special initiative, and one which has been nurtured for many years so as to ensure that young female graduates take their place in the industry and are able to make a meaningful contribution.”
Of the bursaries awarded, here are responses from some of the students:
“I would like to thank all the funders for affording me the opportunity to study a Property related course and for the confidence they have in developing future female property leaders. It is an honour to be the recipient of a WPN bursary. You educate a woman, you educate the nation. Thank you Women’s Property Network for the generosity extended to the future of this country.”
“I’d like to thank each and every one who made this bursary possible. Words cannot describe what it means to me and how grateful I am to be given an opportunity to be part of the very few lucky ones who received this bursary. Not only does this mean that I can study in peace without worrying about funding but it also means that I have an incentive to work harder knowing that people went to a great deal of effort for me to be awarded this bursary.”
“This means that I am now able to pay for my tuition for my Honours year and buy textbooks that I would have otherwise not been able to afford. This also means that I have a more peaceful semester and not have to worry about outstanding fees and not being allowed to graduate at the end of the year.”
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in awarding this bursary to me. University is an expensive endeavour. However, with your generosity, the financial burden upon my family and I has decreased drastically and will allow for me to pursue my dreams without too much stress. Thank you for recognising the need for bursaries around my chosen degree as they are very scarce. Thanks to Women’s Property Network and all donors’ contributions to the Educational Trust. I hope to be able to pay this kind act forward in the future.”
“Receiving a bursary from the Women’s Property Network has provided me with relief from financial strain and looming debt traps that are disguised in well packaged loan offers. The freedom that this bursary is offering me is immeasurable and its effects will be felt well after the completion of my post-graduate studies.
“In addition to this, I am grateful for the investment in me and my career, as well as the opportunity to be mentored by women who are successfully making a mark in the property industry. Education remains the most powerful tool we have to rebuild our country with and to ensure sustainable transformation. I am excited to be a part of the change and to play my part in the rebuilding process.”
In addition to the awarding of the bursaries, the WPN through its regional chapters and committees will support these students by ensuring regular contact to discuss study material and any problem areas that may have arisen and will engage with the students at the networking events so that they have access to women active in the industry.