Future PHD in Agriculture

Completed with the foundation in 2016. Currently studying in Italy towards her PHD.

"I am Lerato Phali, I was raised in the township of Sebokeng and completed high school at Khutlo – Tharo Secondary. I am the first of three children. My father died in 1996 leaving my unemployed mother to take care of us. She later died when I was in Grade 10. While in high school I studied agriculture, this is when I decided that I would like to pursue a career in agricultural economics. With the help of my uncles I managed to complete matric and register for the first year of my studies at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. After the first year, the reality of not being able to complete my studies faced me – my uncles were no longer able to financially support me.

I did not give up. I told myself that one way or the other I will study. Luckily, at the university you can stay in residence and study throughout the year only having to pay at the end of the school year. I told myself that at some point during the year I would have to find someone who could help me. Unfortunately, I didn’t. These were the worst days of my life, I was owing the school and could not carry on studying. My dream of becoming an Agricultural Economist was shattered. In January 2010 I met my good Samaritan, Dr. Thandi Ndlovu. She assured me that I will finish my degree. Dr. Ndlovu ensured that my outstanding fees were paid in full, and I was able to register for my 3rd year. It was during that year that I also met Mr van Ettinger and was told that Dr. Ndlovu’s foundation will also be helping other disadvantaged students like me finish their studies. Without their help, I would have been a varsity drop out. The foundation paid and still does my fees, accommodation and provides me with a meal allowance. My performance has since improved and today I hold a BSc Masters in Agricultural Economics and am currently studying in Italy towards my PHD. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity that was given to me by such blessed souls of the Lord.

I want to be a successful business owner, and a board member of multiple companies. After completing my PHD I would love to gain work experience and work in the maize trade. My interests lie in agricultural lending, trade and investments. I would love to work in international trade and regulate trade between South Africa and other countries for agricultural commodities. With a good head for figures I would make a good market analyst. I would like to own the first black female owned agricultural consulting company specializing in soil science, plant breeding, agribusiness and agricultural economics.

I am privileged to have been sponsored and will also help sponsor disadvantaged people in the future because there is no better gift than education."


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 011 789 8440

Registered Charity
REG: 2004/033147/08
PBO Number: 930043879

Our South African Beneficiary Base is more than 75% as per the Codes of Good Practise endorsed in 2007 for Broad Based Economic Empowerment.





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