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Incentives can help

Waseem Sirkhot has been involved in community service since the age of 12 and is as passionate about it today. Only now he is better equipped to make a difference with the help of three friends from the Lenasia community; Ismail Moola, Mohamed Jassat and Ridwan Mia. Their mission: Empower the youth. Affording them an opportunity to aim higher academically and stand a chance of being recognised.

“We are all passionate about community service and giving back. In a small business discussion we realised that our staff perform better when incentivised, so we decided to implement this into the education system and it led to the birth of Project D1st1nct1on.”


They took money from their own pockets, went looking for sponsors and came away with just under R150 000 in only a week. Because of this, three Grade 12 children from the community received study bursaries and other study aid sponsorships.

That was last year. This year 16 schools from Lenasia, Benoni and Marlboro are targeted and the required amount has been upped to R400 000. The top Grade 12 learner from each school will receive a bursary; and prizes and awards will serve as both incentive and recognition for the top 10 learners from each school; the school with the highest pass rate; the school that showed the most improvement; the best learner; and the learner with the best maths and science results.

“We chose Lenasia because our income comes from here and we would like to support the community that supports us. I’m from Benoni and Mohamed comes from Marlboro — we needed to go back home and give to the community that gave to us.”


In addition to financial rewards, Project D1st1nct1on also encourages learners from these schools with powerful motivational talks on perseverance, opportunity, patience and their ability to make a difference. A Facebook page with regular motivational posts and discussions serves as a support group when learners can come to share as well as being equipped with the emotional tools to make a success of their lives in the face of adversity.

“The future generation needs education, motivation and upliftment. The concept is simple: increase the grades and standard of our matric results to ensure a better future for our learners.”

This is Waseem’s story of help. If you would like to help:
Waseem Sirkhot
(c) 084 999 0999
email: [email protected]

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