Riefka, 18, launches drive to fund studies

Riefka Christians has launched a crowdfunding drive to pay for her studies to become a psychologist.

Riefka Christians, 18, of Retreat, has launched a campaign to fund her studies.

Ms Christians has been accepted at Cornerstone Institute to study Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and has vowed to make a difference in her community after she completes her four-year degree.

She is trying to raise R10 000 through BackaBuddy before the first semester starts on Monday July 5. The registration fee is R5 000. “I need to raise funds to pay my registration fee but I also need books and basically to start off my year. I need to pay my tuition fee until I find a sponsor.”

She said she had applied to study at Cornerstone while in matric at Heathfield High School.

Ms Christians lives with mother, Nadia, and sister, Meakha, in a wendy house, but is determined to not let her circumstances prevent her from going after her dream. “My biggest dream is to one day visit the The Musée d’Orsay in Paris and to be ‘Doctor’ Riefka Christians,” she said.

Her vision for her community, she said, was “to see people stand up for the right things and stop the gangsterism and the shooting. One other major issue is unemployment and housing and I would like to see that change”.

She said she would like to “help with the health-care system in my community and help people improve their decision making, stress management and behaviour based on understanding past behaviour to better predict future behaviour”.

Ms Christians’s mother described her as “very motivated and goal-orientated”.

She said she had taught her daughters to keep studying and had motivated them to do their best. “It doesn’t matter what financial difficulties we go through, there will be a way. I want them to have a better life and to succeed in everything they do, and I will help them whenever I can.

“Riefka always passed with a Bachelor’s, and her teachers were mad about her. I wish Riefka well and if she becomes a qualified psychologist, I will encourage her to buy a house.”

Merlyn Manuel, the bursar and financial aid administrator for Cornerstone, said: “As we are a private, not-for-profit institution, we don’t receive government funding, so are not able to offer full funding. We do offer financial aid; it is currently very limited, but we are constantly negotiating with potential partners.”

Call 065 621 5459, email christiansriefka@gmail.com or visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/riefka-christians if you want to help.