Across the country, hundreds of thousands of children thirst for more than just going to school and excelling in their studies. For them, education is the way out from the challenges that they face in life. It is also the hope that one day things will be fine for them, their families and their communities.
One such channel of hope is the Equity Wings to Fly program.
This year, 1,136 scholars received comprehensive secondary school scholarships funded by Mastercard Foundation, Equity Group and the German Government through KfW, meaning that 1,136 students were given a new lease of life; a once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue their dreams and goals. This year marks the 11th intake since the inception of the Wings to Fly scholarship program, bringing the total number of scholars admitted to the program to 17,304.
Wings to Fly
The Equity Wings to Fly program was a dream come true for Neema Charo from Kwale County who scored 397 marks in the 2019 KCPE examinations and secured admission at Lugulu Girls Secondary School in Kakamega.
Neema lives with her 4 siblings and parents in a mud- walled, makuti- roofed house constructed on a neighbour’s property. She is the second last born child and the first in her family to make it to high school.
Growing up, having a plate of food on the table was considered a blessing. Neema’s family mostly survived on one meal a day as her parents could not provide for them. For her, Equity came at the opportune time, to give her the much needed hope in life.
Now, she has joined form one on a comprehensive Wings to Fly scholarship and joins other thousands of KCPE finalists who have been admitted to various secondary schools across Kenya.
Equity Leaders Program
Maxwell Ojiambo transitioned to the Equity Leadership Program (ELP) after completing his secondary education courtesy of the Wings to Fly scholarship. After joining ELP, Maxwell served in Equity Bank as an intern where he interacted with people from different walks of life while at the same time earning a monthly stipend enough for his daily expenses while saving some money for his university education. This opened his mind and changed his world view about various issues in life.
Maxwell also heard about global university opportunities through ELP and decided that this was something he wanted to do as it would give an opportunity to study abroad and broaden his exposure and experience. This year, he will be joining Stanford University to study Architecture and Music. He has great ambitions and hopes that the robust American system will see him pursue his graduate studies within the next four years.
Neema’s and Maxwell’s stories are examples of how dreams have come true for the past 11 years for many bright children in Kenya courtesy of Equity and its social responsibility initiatives. Through the Foundation, 11,928 scholars have sat their final secondary national exams to date with 9,581 managing to secure admission to university.
Due to the success of the Wings to Fly Program, this year, Equity Group secured the Government’s competitive bid as an implementing agency for the Elimu Scholarship Programme. The Elimu Scholarship Programme is an initiative of the Government of Kenya funded by the Ministry of Education with support from the World Bank and aims to support 18,000 students from needy and vulnerable households on full four-year secondary school scholarships, selected in two cohorts of 9,000 each.