Epilepsy SA Educational Trust


The Epilepsy South Africa Educational Trust was established in December 1998. The founding Trustees (Kathryn Pahl, Amelia Jones, Donald Campbell, Mzolisi Toni, Vusi Mahlasela and Jocelyne Kane-Berman) embraced the vision and together perused and assessed numerous applications from all over South Africa.

The Trust exists solely to provide financial support for tertiary education to promising and talented students with epilepsy. Although only able to provide part-bursaries, the Trust’s support to students has been making a life-changing difference for nearly two decades.

Dr Amelia Jones

Dr Amelia Jones (Chairperson) qualified as a social worker in 1969. She spent the first 25 years of her career as a Probation Officer and gained experience at Child Welfare, Nicro and Epilepsy South Africa. She joined the Community Chest of the Western Cape in 1993 and was appointed as Chief Executive in 1997, until retiring in 2013. Dr Jones has chaired the Epilepsy SA Educational Trust for more than a decade.

Prof Roland Eastman

Prof Roland Eastman MBChB served as head of the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital and UCT. He also served as a Board member of Epilepsy South Africa, President of the Neurology Association of South Africa (NASA) and President of the South African Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)

Mrs Karen Robinson

Mrs Karen Robinson served as the National Social Development Manager of Epilepsy South Africa, having previously worked for more than a decade as an Occupational Social Worker in the South African National Defence Force. Mrs Robinson holds a Master’s Degree in social sciences and is registered with the SA Council of Social Service Professions.

Mr Mbulelo Bikwani

Mr Mbulelo Bikwani is the former CEO of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and Chair of Council of CPUT. His numerous Board and Trust duties include; Keymix Investments, Continuation Pension and Provident funds, Cookhouse Windfarm Community Trust, iGen Education Trust and he is Founding Chairperson of the Isiseko Family Institute. Currently he is the Executive Director of Sucgrate Consulting Services and holds a B Juris degree from UWC.

Goals of the Epilepsy SA Educational Trust

The goals of the Trust are:

  • To enable persons with epilepsy to study at tertiary level;
  • To empower persons with epilepsy from marginalised and previously disadvantaged communities;
  • To create role-models with epilepsy;
  • To assist person with epilepsy to lay the groundwork to employment.

Adding value

  • In addition to providing financial support to students with epilepsy, the Trust also enables these beneficiaries to participate in the activities of Epilepsy South Africa. This includes contributions to Epinews (a newsletter for persons with epilepsy by persons with epilepsy), conducting awareness and educational talks and workshops and acting as role models to other (especially young) persons with epilepsy.
  • Bursary recipients are also expected to volunteer within Epilepsy South Africa to familiarise themselves with issues related to the condition. Such voluntary work can be carried out in a number of programmes and geographic locations.
  • Students also have access to all services of Epilepsy South Africa, including advocacy and human rights, social development, economic development and skills development.
  • Bursary beneficiaries form the core of the Nicholas Project (Epilepsy South Africa’s youth awareness initiative). We are creating a series of awareness initiatives aimed at educational institutions (primary, secondary and tertiary), institutions responsible for the training of educators and parents/families of young persons with epilepsy. These awareness talks includes epilepsy education but focuses on the achievements of young persons with epilepsy to focus attention on their abilities rather than disabilities.

What you need to know before applying



  • The Epilepsy South Africa Educational Trust exclusively awards bursaries to persons with epilepsy in South Africa.
  • The Trust will only fund tuition costs and not residential and other costs.
  • Trust bursaries are part-bursaries. As such, the Trust does not fund the full cost for any one student.
  • A bursary may be withdrawn at any stage if academic performance is not satisfactory or the recipient fails to fulfil the requirements of the agreement.
  • Applicants must be members of Epilepsy South Africa at either Branch or national level.

General information

  • Bursaries are awarded for one year only. It is the responsibility of the student to re-apply for further bursaries by 31 October annually.
  • Students are required to declare bursaries or awards received from any other sources.
  • Incomplete or late applications will be rejected. An application is considered complete if all sections have been completed in full and all relevant annexures submitted.
  • Applications may be submitted via ordinary mail to The Secretary, Epilepsy South Africa Educational Trust, P.O. Box 586, Fourways North, 2085 or via email at info@epilepsy.org.za..
  • Students must meet all requirements stipulated by the Trust, including the timeous submission of all required documentation.
  • Successful students are required to submit at least one article on their personal experiences. These articles should not be longer than one typed page and will be used to provide feedback to donors/funders as part of sustaining the Trust. Epilepsy South Africa also has the right to publish such articles.
  • Bursaries are paid in two tranches. The first payment will be made against the signed Memorandum of Agreement. Confirmation of bursary payment details and an account statement from the tertiary institution. The second payment will be made against mid-year results and a progress report. Failure to submit the required documentation timeously will result in the withdrawal of the bursary with immediate effect.
  • Bursaries will be paid directly to the student’s account at the tertiary institution where he/she is registered. Deposits will not be made into private bank accounts under any circumstances.
  • Students must notify the Trust immediately should they discontinue their studies for any reason.
  • The Trust will keep a database of beneficiaries and expects each beneficiary to financially support the Trust on a regular basis once they complete their studies and take up employment. In this way the Trust ensures sustainability.
  • Students must inform the Trust immediately should they receive a bursary from another source. Failure to do so will result in immediate termination of the bursary and repayment of all funds already paid in terms of the bursary.
  • Students must attend the Annual General Meeting of either the National Office or one of the Branches (whichever is more convenient) unless the Trust agrees in writing that it is not reasonable to do so (e.g. by virtue of geographic location).

Bursary application form