June, 2013 | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarship Opportunity

Scholars Selection CampThe 2014 Scholarship opportunity was open to last year’s Grade 6’s, who will start Grade 8 next year. The purpose of the Scholarship is to broaden the pool of eligible applicants into the Foundation’s Fellowship, which is aimed at Grade 12 learners and first year university students. The Scholarship is open to learners who show potential to excel academically, who have the desire to fully engage in available opportunities as well as those who demonstrate financial need. Scholarship recipients receive comprehensive financial support, and are given access to entrepreneurial and personal development programmes as well as mentorship opportunities to ensure their continued progress.
Each stage of the process the applicant needs to be successful in order to proceed:

  1. An application form is completed and assessed
  2. Applicants’ numeracy and literacy abilities are tested
  3. A supplementary application form is completed
  4. Interviews are conducted with the applicants
  5. Applicants attend a Selection Camp
  6. Scholars are selected

The purpose of the Selection Camp:

A Selection Camp is an assessment centre that is formulated with unique and focussed activities, allowing the Foundation to observe attitudes and behaviours that cannot ordinarily be extracted from an application form or an interview.

  1. The Foundation is able to assess candidates in a group setting, beyond the realms of academic and interview performance.
  2. The Camp provides the Foundation with an opportunity to observe the candidates’ behaviour in a social context.
  3. The Foundation assesses whether the candidates’ abilities and behaviours are in alignment with the Foundation Pillars: Intellectual Imagination, Achievement Excellence, Courageous Commitment, Spirit of Significance, Personal Initiative
  4. Psychometric testing is also done to assess the learners’ abstract reasoning and academic potential
  5. Assessment activities include a combination of group and individual problem-solving and creative-thinking exercises.

Outcome of the Selection Camp: There was an increase in rigour where alignment of activities and assessed behaviours were concerned. A greater spectrum of personalities was observed, especially when compared to previous Camps.

Outcome of the campaign:

Scholars Selection Statistics:

  • Total applications received:  4127
  • Total tests written: 1009
  • Total candidates interviewed:  159
  • Total candidates that attended the Selection Camp:  60
  • Total recommended Scholars: 30

The success of the campaign is not based on the amount of applicants who apply, but rather the quality of eligible applicants. Of the 40 spaces available, 30 candidates were recommended for placement. This is in line with the focus on quality rather than quantity; specifically as far as academic ability and potential are concerned.

The next campaign will launch 15 July 2013, allowing learners who are currently in Grade 6 to apply for a high school Scholarship commencing in 2015.





Scholarship Grade 8 Development Camp

Scholarship Grade 8 Development Camp

Scholars Grade 8 Development CampA Scholarship Grade 8 Development Camp was held between 20 -23 April in Grabouw, Western Camp, and was attended by 40 Allan Gray Scholars from all over South Africa. The camp was themed “Me and My Context”, with the aim of assisting the Scholars to form a better understanding of themselves within their unique contexts. This objective was specifically significant given that it was the Scholars first year in high school.

The purpose of the camp was to assist them with this transition into high school, by broadening their mindsets to allow them to better engage with opportunities that came their way within the school environment.

Camp activities consisted of the following:

  • Study skills: In view of the importance of academic excellence, the Foundation deliberately made use of every opportunity to empower the Scholars with effective study skills and methods.
  • Diversity appreciation: Various activities encouraged the Scholars to embrace, celebrate and have respect for diverse cultures and beliefs. They were taught to appreciate the uniqueness of themselves and others.
  • Future Planning: The Scholars were tasked with writing a letter to their future selves. The intention was to enable the Scholars to envision the path into their futures, through projecting and visioning the successes that lie ahead. This allowed Scholars to look beyond their current realities and set themselves goals for the future.

The Scholars left the camp with confidence and a deeper understanding of who they are. The Scholars were equipped with the necessary tools to tackle the year that lies ahead of them – they are now able to be more focused to work towards achieving their academic, extramural or personal development goals.

Fellowship Opportunity Update

Fellowship Opportunity Update

As part of our communications campaign to create awareness about the Fellowship opportunity  across Southern Africa, we identified four Fellows that were willing to share their inspiring stories with the country: Suzie Nkambule, Wandile Mabanga, Jacqui Watson and Batandwa Alperstein.

Through the telling of these stories and the role of the Foundation played in each respective journey, we were able to attract greater media interest and thus share the Fellowship opportunity with a larger audience. As a result of public interest in these inspiring ‘good news’ stories, there has been extensive media coverage across radio, newspaper and magazine channels on these individuals, and subsequently the Fellowship.

Some of the media coverage:

The deadline to apply to the Fellowship closed on the 30 April for Grade 12’s and will close on 30 August for the first year university students. The stories of these Fellows will continue to drive the campaign up until submission close. Download your application form here if you want to apply.

Fellows Selection

Fellowship Year Equip Connect Event

Fellowship Year Equip Connect Event

Fellows Year Equip ConnectThe Fellowship Year Equip Connect event was held on the 21 – 23 March 2013 in Villiersdorp, Western Cape, and was attended by Candidate-Fellows from the Foundation in their second year of university.

The Year Equip Connect Event acts as a catalyst, encouraging Candidate-Fellows to explore their areas of personal development that will lead to a greater Spirit of Significance. The event aims to reinforce the sense of community developed in the students’ first year at university, as well as to introduce new Candidate-Fellows who have joined the community in their second year of studies. This event helps solidify these relationships, with the aim of ensuring more effective impact as the Fellows partner together in future. The sense of understanding that is developed looks at all levels of community – the Fellowship, the communities the Fellows come from and the communities in Southern Africa – specifically those in distress.

The Candidate-Fellows engaged with local schools in the Villiersdorp community, providing them with the opportunity to work with disadvantaged learners. The interaction aimed to inspire the learners, giving them hope and confidence in themselves. The Candidate-Fellows engaged with two groups – a cohort of Grade 9’s they had interacted with in 2012, and a cohort of Grade 7’s from Elands River Primary School.

The resulting interaction – both amongst the Candidate-Fellows and with the learners from the Villiersdorp community, provided the Candidate-Fellows with a platform to conceptualise how they can make an impact after the event. The Candidate-Fellows were tasked with a Legacy challenge: a three-year project where they were challenged with creating something that could effect social change.

Immanuel Commarmond, Fellowship Regional Manager, said: “The Connect event has influenced the Candidate-Fellows to work cross-regionally on a Legacy Project. It has been just over three months since the event and the Candidate-Fellows have already submitted a draft proposal that shows potential to leave a legacy of significance within the community of Allan Gray Scholars. This proposal will now be reviewed and the project will commence after a brief planning session at Jamboree.  I look forward to seeing the impact this has on many lives, in a way that is both sustainable and significant.”



The Association of Allan Gray Fellows

The Association of Allan Gray Fellows

Association 2The Association of Allan Gray Fellows has continued to make strides over the first half of this year building on successes from 2012. The outcome of the Startership Seminar continues to bear fruit with our seven Allan Gray Fellows activity engaged in breathing life into the Eduvator entrepreneurial initiative. We expect them to launch in the second half of 2013.

Meanwhile Allan Gray Fellows Jacqui Watson , Wandile Mabanga, Batandwa Alperstein and I have made ourselves available to market the Fellowship opportunity for 2013 . We hope that there will be more opportunities for the Association to contribute towards the Foundation’s activities in the months to come.

In February we welcomed 53 new Allan Gray Fellows into the fold after their successful graduation from the Allan Gray Fellowship. Some of the new Allan Gray Fellows have already joined Portfolio Committees across the regions and are working to realize the Association’s vision and mission.

Whilst reflecting on last year, the Executive Committee acknowledged the need to define and build a found of culture for the Association, one that would be characterised by a cohesive community that is fun, trustworthy, supportive, competitive, socio-economically engaged and politically aware. This has become the lens through which we have been assessing whether our activities trigger these aspects of community whilst contributing to the Association’s overall vision and mission.

The Executive Committee will undergo a leadership transition at the end of 2013 with a new Committee being elected to office. We are currently putting in place procedures and processes that will ensure a sustainable leadership succession pipeline and seamless transition.

However, in the words of Gordon Cook, the Association continues to be dissatisfied with the status quo in Southern Africa and we will continue to use the principles embedded in entrepreneurial leadership as the Foundation for all our initiatives, to ensure that we support the community in realising our long term vision; to create of sustainable long-term societal wealth. We welcome you to journey with us.

Namibia Scholarship Development Camp

Namibia Scholarship Development Camp

NamibiaThe Namibia Scholarship Development Camp was held between 24 -26 May just outside of Windhoek, and was attended by 30 Allan Gray Scholars. The camp was themed “Grounding” and “Testing Foundation”. The camp aimed to assist Scholars in uncovering their respective passions and strengths, as well as deepening their understanding of relationships.

Allan Gray Fellow, Tuyeni Akwenye, shared his journey with the Scholars at the camp, providing a firsthand account of his experience as part of the Fellowship. Tuyeni spent the weekend with the Scholars, engaging with them during the sessions. The camp aimed to address and alleviate any concerns the Scholars may have had regarding studying across the border, as well as provide a deeper understanding of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s purpose and vision.

The Scholars’ enthusiastic participation in the activities and tasks presented indicated that the camp was successful in achieving its aims. Particularly beneficial was having representatives from both the Scholarship and Fellowship present, as this facilitated the learnings and knowledge sharing between the two countries.


A word from the CEO on Entrepreneurship

A word from the CEO on Entrepreneurship

Anthony Farr 2The Foundation recently attended the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2012 Report. It is the largest annual entrepreneurship study in the world covering countries representing approximately 85% of the world’s economy. This report showed that the proportion of South African adults involved in early stage entrepreneurial activity dropped from 9.1% in 2011 to 7.3% in 2012. This was the lowest of all 10 Sub-Saharan Africa countries participating in the study and is probably half the level our country requires.

The report further explored the pool of potential entrepreneurs, which is drawn from those individuals who have a combination of both the perception of good opportunities and the perception of having entrepreneurial capabilities. In South Africa this proportion of potential entrepreneurs in the total youth population between the ages of 18 – 34 is 20%, a full two-thirds less than the Sub-Saharan average of 60%. When one considers the importance of entrepreneurship in driving job creation, these statistics start to explain why our country has such unacceptably high levels of unemployment. If we are able to shift our youth’s perception of both their capability and the level of opportunity around them it would quickly improve the depth of our country’s overall entrepreneurial pipeline. Perception of capability and opportunity thus offer two important levers with which to influence the entrepreneurial culture of the country at source.

Addressing these issues is a complex task which requires numerous interventions to help tackle this entrepreneurial deficit. At the Foundation, we have come to respect the importance of two ingredients that we see as having an important influence on both levers, namely grit and community.

Grit is defined, according to Wikipedia, as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”. In the Foundation’s context we call it “Courageous Commitment”, which is one of the five pillars against which we select future Allan Gray Candidate-Fellows and which is then further developed as part of the Fellowship journey. An increasing number of studies point towards this notion of grit as a far better predictor of future success than other dimensions such as IQ. This resilience and unwavering determination is key in unlocking a different level of perception of one’s capabilities, as well as growing the universe of potential opportunities that one feels able to pursue.

The second ingredient is a powerful community, imbued with a “Spirit of Significance” (a second pillar of the Foundation) which has a catalysing impact on the boundaries of possibility for those within the community. Such communities in their own right and through their natural fostering of grit, start to move the levers of capability and opportunity.

In this edition of our E-Zine, we get an update from Suzie Nkambule on the Association of Allan Gray Fellows and some interesting insights on our Fellowship Campaign for 2013. We also gain an understanding of how we assist Candidate-Fellows to build community amongst themselves, whilst in the service of another community with the Year Equip Candidate-Fellow Connect Event in Villiersdorp. We take an inside look at our Grade 8 Scholarship Development Camp as well as the results of our most recent Scholarship Campaign with the next one due to kick-off on 15 July 2013 ( for learners currently in Grade 6 to apply for a high school scholarship commencing in 2015).

In light of last month being Youth Month and the continued celebration of Youth, I challenge all our Allan Gray Fellows, Candidate-Fellows, Scholars and all Youth out there to be a part of increasing South Africa’s entrepreneurial future by unlocking their individual perceptions of their own capabilities and expanding their universe of potential opportunities and then to pursue them wholeheartedly!

Yours in the spirit of Youth


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