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Our Bold Investment in Girls (BIG) Scholarship programme

DSG enjoys an excellent track record of giving girls whose access to education is often limited by financial resources (rather than ability), the opportunity of a life-changing education.

In 2008 Nombulelo Gongqa made an appointment to see me about the possibility of attending DSG for Grades 10–12 and she subsequently joined us in Grade 10 in 2009. In her matric year Nombulelo was made a prefect and her matriculation results were strong enough for progression to university. A private sponsor was found for Nombulelo and she is currently studying at Rhodes University.

Also in 2008, I was introduced to an exceptional young girl, Aviwe Ntshangase, who was in Grade 7 at the Good Shepherd School. I contacted the Student Scholarship Programme organisers who agreed to partially sponsor Aviwe on condition that DSG became one of their partner schools. A wonderful relationship between SSP and DSG began to develop when Aviwe joined the DSG family in Grade 8 in 2009. In Aviwe’s matric year (2013), this outstanding young woman’s attributes were recognised: she was elected prefect, was made Head of her boarding house, was Head of Community Engagement, played for the first netball team and was a member of the DSG choir. She also achieved a Gold Standard in the President’s Award programme, the highest level there is. Aviwe was offered a scholarship to Rhodes University where she is currently reading for a B. Comm degree.

 

“I am the person that I am today not only because I am dedicated but because DSG
has been with me every step of the way. The care and guidance provided by DSG is
endless. DSG gave me the opportunity to know people from across the world, and
to allow me to dream. I am full of life, someone who wants to make a difference,
someone who goes beyond being busy because DSG gave me the platform to be
educated at one of the best schools. The role models that fill the school will forever
be part of my life. While at DSG I blossomed and made it my playground of success.
I can truly say, without a doubt, I love DSG.”

Ms Aviwe Ntshangase
DSG Old Girl, 2013

In 2010 we admitted two girls who were partially funded by SSP and another two girls who were partially funded by the Allen Gray Orbis Foundation. We have continued to admit two SSP girls every year since then.

Girls are offered SSP scholarships once they reach Grade 8. In 2012 we took a strategic decision to accept potential scholarship girls into Grade 6 so that we could give them a solid foundation for their senior schooling. Even if these girls are not awarded scholarships, we will support them throughout their senior years. This is our commitment.

In addition to the many support structures available to all DSG girls, the DSG scholarship girls are under the personal care of Ms Ntando Mlilo who meets with them regularly to discuss issues of concern and to support them in all spheres of their lives at DSG and beyond.

The DSG scholarship girls who live in Grahamstown make use of public transport to come to school every morning but we provide transport to take each girl directly to her home every evening. This service enables the girls to remain at school until late in the evening to make use of the facilities such as computers and to participate in the many extramural activities that are on offer.

Additional academic support is freely available at DSG. The Junior School (Grades 4–7) employs a full-time remedial teacher who is available to assist the scholarship girls in Maths and English. In Grades 8 and 9 the scholarship girls do extra Maths and English instead of a third language, giving them an extra five lessons in each of these subjects per cycle.

We are currently supporting twenty-three girls on scholarship. These girls are all from disadvantaged and impoverished homes, most of whom reside in Grahamstown East.

We are committed to growing our programme and plan to have fifty scholarship girls at DSG by 2025.

 

How can you support the BIG Programme?

With your support, our Scholarship Programme will grow to offer the opportunity of a unique educational experience to many more young girls with talent and aptitude from disadvantaged backgrounds. Following in the footsteps of numerous successful DSG Old Girls, they too will be well positioned to make a difference within their communities and to hopefully support other young girls in the future.

By donating, you take your rightful place among all those individuals who have so generously supported DSG over the decades.

As a donor, you will receive regular news on the progress of your pupil at DSG. We will send you her school reports on a termly basis which will highlight her academic, sporting and cultural involvement and successes.

We will keep you updated on DSG school news including success stories, achievements and campus developments.

An invitation will be extended to you by the Headmistress to join us as our guest at the DSG Balloon Week which is held in October every year. The week’s events offer a unique opportunity to tour the campus, meet the staff and girls and to attend our Prize-Giving ceremony to celebrate the year’s academic, sporting and cultural achievements with our community.

Tax benefits are available for donations made in South African rands, US dollars, Canadian dollars and British pounds. We would be delighted to provide the necessary information.

We invite you to join us in growing confident young women who will build a better future.

For more information or enquiries, please contact Mrs Angie Marriner at a.marriner@dsgschool.com

 

How will DSG support and nurture the BIG Scholarship recipients?

DSG offers an exceptional education, opening up a world of opportunity for those who pass through our doors. Our worldclass academic, cultural and sporting facilities allow our scholars to pursue their interests and follow their dreams.

We believe that every girl is entitled to live in a congenial, nonthreatening environment in which she can develop and flourish: one in which she can mature into a well-rounded, fulfilled person who can realise her personal goals and ambitions. To achieve this, we encourage girls to be resilient, courageous and determined.

We aim to nurture and support girls in every facet of their lives – academically, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Academically, girls are encouraged to apply their knowledge, think critically, analyse information and solve problems creatively. We do, however, believe that traditional educational demands that have stood the test of time are still relevant. Grade Heads keep a finger on the pulse in the classrooms and our Educational Psychologist intervenes when necessary. Girls are encouraged to consult the Educational Psychologist if they experience any barriers to optimal learning.

Physically, girls who are ill are cared for in the Sanatorium by two nursing sisters and a school doctor, who visits the school every morning. We ensure that the girls’ dietary needs are met by holding regular meetings with the caterers, and the girls are encouraged to stay physically fit by playing sport regularly.

Emotionally, our Clinical Psychologist is available for one-on-one short-term counselling with girls and makes recommendations to the Headmistress regarding the care of the girls. She is also active in advising, training and educating the staff on the care of adolescent girls. Housemistresses and the member of staff who oversees the day girls have a hands-on approach and get to know the girls in their care very well. The San sisters and the Chaplain all play a role in caring for girls with emotional needs.

Spiritually, DSG offers an environment within which every girl can express her own individual identity. At the heart of our school is a Christian ethos that is built on the commandment to love one another and to do unto others as we would have done to us. The Chaplain is available to girls for counselling and girls may belong to the active SCA group.

 

Our Rich Heritage

“From its earliest days DSG has assisted families who would otherwise not have
been able to send their daughters to school here. This is a deliberate expression of
our Christian values and the recognition that talent and ability drawn from a wide
spectrum will enrich our school, our community and our country. Today DSG invests
academically, pastorally and practically in the success of all its girls and especially its
scholarship girls to provide the best support in realising their true potential.”

Mrs Margie Keeton

Chairman of the DSG Council

DSG is situated in the heart of the Eastern Cape. Grahamstown’s wide streets, beautiful architecture and majestic cathedral embody the
deep sense of history and cultural significance of our town. Highly regarded for excellence in all spheres of education, Grahamstown is known as the ‘City of Saints’ because its churches create an ambience of understated dignity.

During the academic year, this gravitas is lightened by an energy and vigour sparked by the students and scholars who attend Rhodes University and the town’s many schools.

Since our beginning in 1874, DSG has evolved to become the girls’ boarding school of choice in South Africa and further afield. We value our tradition of excellence but also recognise the need to be at the cutting edge of educational trends.

At DSG, we welcome the increasing influence of women in society. Our aim is to develop girls who are forward thinking, transformative in their world-view and critical, independent problem-solvers: young women who can make sound ethical judgements with a keen sense of their social responsibilities. While we draw girls from across the country and the African continent, our roots remain firmly in the Eastern Cape as a significant number of girls come from the local farming areas. Many families have sent their daughters to our school for five generations or more.

We promote unpretentious attitudes to ensure that our scholars remain true to the values upheld by the school and that they are committed to making a difference in their society and the world.

DSG is the only full-time all-girls’ boarding school in South Africa. We believe that boarding is a nurturing and fulfilling experience: attributes of tolerance and respect for and consideration of others are fostered as our girls learn to live with those from different backgrounds, nationalities and cultures. They develop a strong sense of community and commitment to each other and deep, lasting friendships are formed. The experience gained from close exposure to a microcosm of society as a whole is invaluable in preparing the girls for their adult lives. Living on campus means that our scholars are fully immersed in the life of the school and are able to take full advantage of the diverse and busy programme that DSG has to offer.

 

Our partnership with Rhodes University

DSG is dedicated to working with families from Grahamstown East and surrounding areas by giving young women a superior education. Our goal is to provide our Scholarship Programme recipients with comprehensive personal mentoring and educational, psychological and social support to enable them to have access to higher education and opportunities for employment when they are ready to enter the working world.

Rhodes University is a world-renowned university and is home to over 7000 students. It is committed to providing equitable access to tertiary education to all students and its current student population reflects the demographic composition of our country. One of its strategies is to attract more black South African students from poor, rural and working class communities in the Eastern Cape and, in particular, from Grahamstown East.

To this end, DSG and Rhodes University enjoy a wonderful partnership. Rhodes University provides financial funding and other forms of assistance to the DSG Scholarship Programme recipients who meet its entrance criteria, thus allowing the recipients to complete their undergraduate degree at the university.

"Rhodes University is delighted to be partnering with DSG to help young women from poor and working class backgrounds in Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape gain access to and succeed at university. We applaud the pro-active way in which DSG has developed its Scholarship Programme in recent years and the wide-ranging support it gives to its scholarship girls and their families. Rhodes in its turn will do all it can to enable these young women who meet its admission criteria to enrol and continue their success through undergraduate study by extending financial assistance and other support to them."

Dr Sizwe Mabuzela
Vice Chancellor Rhodes University