Commemorative Scholarship & Fellowship Awards2018-11-30T20:02:17+00:00

Investing in Change: A Special Tribute to the 1979 Karl Popper Bursaries and Scholarships that Launched the Open Society Foundations

OSF-SA is proud that the philanthropy of George Soros was born in South Africa. George Soros has invested in the academic careers of a generation of amazing, young scholars but importantly he also gave black students a small chance to dream by providing financial support for their education. Since then, the Open Society Foundations have issued more than 15 000 scholarships globally and support to over 80 Fellows around the world. The Open Society Foundations also opened its first African office in South Africa in 1993, which has operated for a quarter of a century, supporting hundreds of organisations and projects in that time, subsequently joined by sister Foundations in Southern, East, and West Africa.

OSF-SA, together with our Board and network partners, decided that the best way to pay tribute to the work of George Soros and to celebrate 25 years of grant making in South Africa – is to invest in the civil society sector that works tirelessly to defend the values of an open society – by issuing individual awards for young, black leaders in civil society. This also reflects our day-to-day grant making commitment to all forms of transformation and to promoting and enabling new and young diverse voices, who will contribute to protecting and enhancing South Africa’s young democracy over the next 25 years.

With the generous support of the entire Open Society Foundations network, and especially the President’s Office, the following Scholarship and Fellowship Awards have been made possible:

20 Scholarships

20 Scholars were nominated by former or current grantees who will also fiscally host the successful Scholars. The winners’ individual profiles reveal a deep commitment to improving the lives of the most marginalised in Africa. Drawn from applications from around the continent, they are the next generation of civil society leaders and are very deserving of this recognition and opportunity. They are a formidable group of young, passionate and brilliant individuals. All of their course fees at any registered South African tertiary institution and an annual living expense stipend will be covered by the Award, and both the Scholars and Fellows will benefit from the rich learning experiences that the broader global Open Society Foundations network offers.

Meet the Scholars

5 Democracy Fellows

5 Democracy Fellows were selected by a robust review process, and their work will advance a body of work that is critically needed in South Africa, as we head into national elections in 2019. They will be hosted by the Democracy Works Foundation, a key partner of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa.

Meet the Democracy Fellows

Investigative Journalism Fellowship Programme

15 Fellows in Investigative Journalism will be selected over a three-year period, starting in 2019, and drawn from Africa, to develop a new cohort of black investigative journalists in South Africa and the region. The inaugural, and first of its kind, specialised and academically accredited Investigative Journalism Programme will be based at the School of Journalism at the University of Witwatersrand, in conjunction with the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. Fellows will receive one year of training followed by placements in the country’s leading investigative journalism units. At all times, and in each year, at least three of the five Fellows will be women and every year at least one fellow must be from Africa, but not a South African.

Find out more

20 Scholarships

20 Scholars were nominated by former or current grantees who will also fiscally host the successful Scholar. The winners’ individual profiles reveal a deep commitment to improving the lives of the most marginalised in Africa. Drawn from applications from the continent, they are the next generation of civil society leaders and are very deserving of this recognition and opportunity. They are a formidable group of young, passionate and brilliant individuals. All of their course fees at any registered South African tertiary institution and an annual living expense stipend will be covered by the Award, and both the Scholars and Fellows will benefit from the rich learning experiences that the broader global Open Society Foundations network offers.

Meet the Scholars

5 Democracy Fellows

5 Democracy Fellows were selected by a robust review process, and their work will advance a body of work that is critically needed in South Africa, as we head into national elections in 2019. They will be hosted by the Democracy Works Foundation, a key partner of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa.

Meet the Democracy Fellows

Investigative Journalism Fellowship Programme

15 Fellows in Investigative Journalism will be selected over a three-year period, starting in 2019, and drawn from Africa, to develop a new cohort of black investigative journalists in South Africa and the region. The inaugural, and first of its kind, specialised and academically accredited Investigative Journalism Programme will be based at the School of Journalism at the University of Witwatersrand, in conjunction with the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. Fellows will receive one year of training followed by placements in the country’s leading investigative journalism units. At all times, and in each year, at least three of the five Fellows will be women and every year at least one fellow must be from Africa, but not a South African.

Find out more
Investing in Change: A Special Tribute to the 1979 Karl Popper Bursaries and Scholarships that Launched the Open Society Foundations
OSF-SA Commemorative Scholarships and Fellowship 2018 Book OSF-SA 25 years in South Africa