The Brockbank Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing scholarships for young Latter-day Saint women in South Africa, giving them an incredible opportunity to pursue higher education and develop the skills necessary to support themselves and their families through the local job market and beyond.
In townships in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, only 7% of high school graduates are able to find jobs. Education isn't just key to earning higher wages; according to the UN, it's central to escaping a generations-long cycle of poverty, discrimination, and struggle.
This is especially true for young South African women, who have little opportunity for education, yet often face challenges sustaining their families and children on their own—from unemployment, to single parenthood, to intense poverty. Giving the gift of education to one of these girls changes their life, and their children's lives, and their children's children's lives—and enables them to do the same for others.
The Fund has supported nearly 90 students from the Eastern Cape Province area. With help from people like you, these girls have pursued a variety of degrees, ranging from accounting, to medicine, to hotel management, to education, to cooking, to beauty school. These degrees will change the lives of these young women by giving them a future in the local job market and making the impossible possible.
While spending 18 months in South Africa as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kay Brockbank Webber became aware of the many needs of the communities in which she served. It became clear to her that the greatest hope for the future of the area lay in the education of its young people, and especially its young women. Kay and her husband, Bob, founded the Brockbank Education Fund in 1999, in an ambitious effort to help lift these women to new heights.
The Fund is named for Kay's father, Isaac Brockbank, who believed emphatically in education for women as he supported the education of his nine daughters. These daughters joined Kay in financing the first year of the fund, and continue to support the BEF today.
Kay passed away in 2004, and since then direction of operations has been helmed by Kay's family.
The Fund is administered by a local board (including 3 former students) in East London, South Africa. The board receives the applications and interviews the candidates. This board and the Fund's South Africa-based director work very closely with the local schools, universities, and training facilities to ensure students receive the education and training they need to secure their futures.
Funds raised by the BEF are paid directly to the schools and each girl is reviewed every year by the board. Every possible dollar of the donations is sent to South Africa. To help ensure sustainability, the students agree to do their best to repay the Brockbank Education Fund and serve their community when they can by giving others an opportunity to pursue their own dreams and better their society.
The statistics above are based upon the students the Fund has been able to keep in contact with. Some have moved away or changed their contact details without notifying us and contact had been therefore “lost” with them. There are 25 of these “lost” students from the period of the years 2000-2008 before the Fund was restructured more formally. Many of the students assisted by the Fund only needed partial funding to get them going for their first year of studies—the graduation and qualification status of these students was not tracked, as they were able to continue the rest of their education with their own funding. There are 12 of these cases. For an ongoing list of students and graduates, see our Students page.