Equity Group Foundation 2015 Wings to Fly applications hit 20,300 mark
9/01… The Equity Group Foundation (EGF) has received 20,300 applications from needy students who sat for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations last year and are not able to finance their secondary school education.
While acknowledging the growing popularity of the Foundation's Wings to Fly Programme, EGF Executive Chairman Dr James Mwangi, expressed regret that the high application rate, now presents an emotional challenge, as the Foundation can only absorb a total of 2,000 students this year out of 20,300 applicants, bringing the total number of scholarships given under the Wings to Fly program to 10,377 in five years. The big challenge to the District Selection boards is how to allocate the 2,000 scholarships from the 20,300 applicants.
Speaking when he confirmed the programmes shortlist process conclusion, Dr Mwangi further placed a passionate appeal to the respective Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committees, county governments, individuals and corporations to consider absorbing some of the students.
“The high number of applicants shows the level of academically gifted pupils meeting the high score of 350 marks and who cannot afford to pay for their secondary school education. This means that the country stands to lose this great manpower if we don’t join hands and support them to go to secondary school. As a country we need to come together and find ways of arresting this situation. These are the brains that the country needs to nurture for the future of our nation,’ said Dr Mwangi who is also the Chairman Kenya Vision 2030.
The Foundation, Dr Mwangi confirmed will be at hand to provide independently verified and assessed reports for more than 18,300 needy students to such CDF committees or any other institution or individual wishing to alleviate the plight of the needy students.
“This is a sad moment for Equity Group Foundation as we face uncertain times for the more than 18,300 deserving but needy students,” Dr Mwangi said. And Added: “we are however optimistic that the CDF Committees among other institutions’ will come forward to share this burden as we cannot afford to lose this bright but needy students.”
This year, the Equity Group Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation with additional support from German state development bank KfW have committed to absorb 2,000 Wings To Fly comprehensive secondary school scholarships to financially constrained children who excelled in the national examinations - 2014 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.
This will be the fifth class to benefit from the scholarship programme run by the Equity Group Foundation popularly known as Wings to Fly scholarship program, enabling the program to meet its goal of 10,000 beneficiaries and surpass it with 377 additional scholarships in five years.
The beneficiaries will be picked from every district or sub county through Equity Bank branches. The minimum marks for eligibility for candidates is 350 except for the few districts where the selection board may lower the cut off points as guided by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) if it is established that the KCPE standards were low and that going by this cut off may exclude deserving applicants.
Shortlisted pupils have been invited for interviews which are being conducted by the Equity Group Foundation District Scholarship Selection Board (DSSB). The DSSB comprises 13 members who are relevant key personalities in the district and is chaired by the District/County Education Officer (DEO) and coordinated by Equity Branch Manager. The process includes a face to face interview with the Board, verification of supporting documents for the applicants, interviews with guardians/parents & head teachers of their primary schools and home visits to verify information provided and to interview and collaborate presentations with neighbours. Equity Agents play a key role in the verification process due to their extensive local area knowledge.
His Excellency the President has kindly agreed to preside over the granting of the scholarships ceremony and commission the 2015 Wings to Fly 2,000 scholars class at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on Friday 16th January. This will allow for adequate time for Equity Group Foundation to shop for shoes, uniform, books, toiletries and other utilities for the scholars before they report for the first term in form one in February.
About Wings to Fly program
Equity Group Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation with additional funding support from USAID, UKAid, KfW, Equity Bank, individuals and institutions under the Wings to Fly program has been implementing a comprehensive secondary scholarship support program for top performing yet needy (orphan or vulnerable) students in the sub-counties across Kenya. In providing this opportunity to Kenyan children who may have otherwise gone unnoticed, the Wings to Fly program is in line with Kenya’s vision 2030 to transform Kenya into a middle-income economy led by well-educated and trained citizens.
The objective of the scholarship program is to provide financial support and leadership empowerment tools to such students. The scholars under this program receive support for all their needs (tuition, accommodation, books, uniform, and transport to and from school, shopping and pocket money) while attending secondary school for the 4 years. The program with this year's 2,000 students will bring the total number of scholarships given under the Wings to Fly program to 10,377 in five years. This is above the program target of 10,000 that the Foundation and its Wings to Fly Partners had set at the beginning of the program.
Equity Group Foundation
Equity Group Foundation was established by Equity Bank to create the financial and operational infrastructure for social programs aimed at low-income population. This innovation and creative vehicle has fully transformed the concept of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. While Equity Group Foundation champions the social economic transformation of the people of Africa and seeks partnership along seven cluster thematic areas, Equity Bank provides the infrastructure of delivery hence reducing the operational cost of the Foundation and increasing the rate of return on any social investment. The seven key social thematic areas are Education and Leadership development, Financial Literacy, Financial Inclusion, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Health, and Environment.