Drama for Life currently offers one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships which was established with initial support from then GTZ SADC (now GIZ SADC) and later also supported by German cultural institution Goethe Institut. Drama for Life has formed fruitful partnerships with funders and other organisations involved in HIV work and drama in South Africa, Africa and worldwide.
DFL was officially launched in February 2008 with the arrival and registration of 29 scholars at Honours and Masters levels at the University of the Witwatersrand. These scholars are committed to returning to their home countries to ensure the effective implementation of DFL training and research throughout Africa.
A full scholarship covers the following: full academic fees, accommodation fees, international fees, medical insurance, monthly food allowance, monthly stipend, international travel – air ticket to return to home country, local travel – field trips, conferences and festival participation and special workshops with guest lecturers.
The Drama for Life Management has reviewed the structure of its scholarship since 2010 owing to the global financial recession and the change in funding strategies by its primary funders. The programme now offers partial scholarships which covers full academic and accommodation fees. The programme also started accommodating self-sponsored students.
To date, 109 scholars from 19 countrieshave been funded. Around 95% of Drama for Life scholars would not have studied if they had not received the scholarship. The programme is well received and valued by scholars, practitioners, funding partners and community members being served by the graduates in the respective countries because of its unique and pioneering nature. The programme has, however, not been able to give post-studies support to its alumni owing to lack of financial resources since it was designed to cover expenses during the tenure of studies, which is 12 months for Advanced Diploma and Honours
students and 14 months for Masters students.