My Journey: Meet Athraa Fakier

Growing up in the vibrant suburb of Athlone, Cape Town, Athraa was one of a special ‘trio’, as she put it, along with her mom and younger sister. “I remember being amazed at my mother’s strength, and the incredible example that she set for us, inspiring us daily to work hard and believe in ourselves. It could not have been easy for a single mom”, recalls Athraa.

“My mom heard about the SBF scholarship and immediately we applied. When the time came for the entrance exam, I was overwhelmed by the number of applicants I was competing with for a scholarship, but then I made it to the interview stage and the SBF representatives who were so warm and welcoming it made me feel at ease about the application process.”

Following her being selected, Athraa was offered a five-year scholarship to attend Rustenburg Girls’ High, an experience that would permanently alter the course of her future. “As someone who received a scholarship, you often feel out of place, especially because people around you seem to have more than you. SBF however, always reassured me of my worth and my potential”.

After completing matric in 2015, Athraa decided to study social work at UCT, graduating in 2019 with a Bachelor of Social Work. “Social work felt like my calling. Growing up, inequality was always so painfully evident, and I felt I needed to go into a field where I could improve the lives of others”.

Currently, Athraa is completing an Honours in Clinical Social Work: Substance Abuse, an area where she wants to impact communities and affect positive change
“Had I not received the SBF scholarship, my mind would not have been opened to the greater world that surrounds me. I would have gone to a school that was in my comfort zone and would not have realised the complete extent of my potential”.

“Through SBF I’ve met amazing people and have a deep appreciation and connection to the foundation.”

Ultimately Athraa’s main source of inspiration is and always will be her family. “My mother has always believed in me and her motivation has pushed me to continue striving. I also want to set a good example to my sister of what a strong, independent young woman is, so that she may be strive to reach great heights”.