Esri South Africa’s decision almost a decade ago to help a deserving Grade 10 learner at Port ShepstoneSecondary School complete his schooling has reaped dividends. Not only did Delani Mdunge go on to matriculate, his marks gained him admittance tothe University of KwaZulu Natal where he recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences,Geography and Environmental Management.
It has been a long but exciting journey for this young man who hails from the Ugu Municipal District in KwaZulu Natal. Initially selected by his school principal, Mr Ramkelawon, as a deserving candidate for Esri South Africa’s sponsorship programme, Delani embraced the help extended to him. He was a top Geography student throughout Grade 10, 11 and 12 and his scholastic success led Esri South Africa to continue its support of his educational journey at tertiary level.
“It has been a wonderful experience,” says Delani. “Throughout high school and university, EsriSouth Africa has been taking care of my living expenses… accommodation, food and schoolfees.” This financial support provided essential psychological stability, he adds. “I did not have to hustle or worry my parents in order to make ends meet… it gave me sufficient time to focus on my books which resulted in great matric results and completing my degree in record time.”
Unlike many graduates who face unemployment after completing their studies, Delani’s next step involves working at Esri South Africa’s Durban office. He is grateful for the opportunities he has had to improve his and his family’s lives, and is looking forward to learning more about geographic information systems and developing his skills as a geospatial specialist.
Esri South Africa is proud of Delani and the effort he has put into his studies over the past eight years. Developing geospatial capacity through investment in educational projects continues to be an ongoing company initiative, and Esri South Africa looks forward to sharing similar success stories in the future.