Some of the Shambhala scholarship recipients
The Shambhala Organisation has awarded R25,000 scholarships to 11 future leaders in the LGBTI community for the 2016 academic year.
The organisation was established by entrepreneur Dale Pudney, with the aim of assisting LGBTI leaders to take their rightful place in the business world.
“The objective of the scholarship initiative is to improve the image of the LGBTI community by highlighting LGBTI role models, developing LGBTI leaders and showcasing mainstream gay life so that people can be proud to be part of the LGBTI community. Not an easy task,” said Pudney.
The recipients for 2016 are: Dijan Botha; Jett Jones (Tjaard du Plessis); Kele Moruane; Khayalethu Gwala; Kudakwashe Masamvu; Nigel Patel; Pieter du Plessis; Seoketsi (Tshepho) Mooketsi; Steph Jansen van Vuuren; Winston Sussens; and Yolande Kwinana.
They competed against 40 applicants in three rounds of applications. The selection process was a collaboration between five leaders from a range of backgrounds, who volunteered their time and efforts to find candidates who could make the biggest difference in the LGBTI community.
They selectors looked at the following criteria: natural leadership qualities; evidence of activism (#DoSomething); ability to achieve great things; and the likelihood of promoting The Shambhala Organisation.
“We are looking for leaders, people who are doing something for their communities, doing it for the good of others,” said Pudney, “because they will be successful in whatever they put their mind to and contribute to achieving the organisation’s objectives.”
He explained that while many of the applicants were academically strong in their fields, the selection focus was on leadership and people who can effect change, as demonstrated by the recipients.
While enabling the students to study towards a career in leadership positions in various types of organisations, the recipients are also required to give back by doing community service; with recipients having personalised action plans built into their scholarship agreements.