257 needy students from West Pokot County have been selected by the Equity Group Foundation (EGF) for the 2021 Wings to Fly scholarship.
Equity Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. James Mwangi noted that many children perform poorly in exams due to the difficult conditions they face, but if awarded scholarships, they can perform better.
He said countrywide over 114,000 applications had been received by EGF out of which 10,705 had been awarded the scholarships.
Speaking at Makutano Stadium while launching the program in Kapenguria, Dr. Mwangi stated that the scholarships were awarded after visits to the applicants’ homes, background checks and verifications.
“The beneficiaries will all be taken to boarding schools where all their school fees, learning kits, uniform, pocket money and essentials will be paid for by EGF. Whenever schools close, they will be facilitated to travel to their respective homes.
During school holidays they will be taken through mentorship programs to make them skilled individuals,” he pointed out.
The 12-year-old ‘Wings to Fly’ Programme is funded by The MasterCard Foundation with support from German’s KfW and Equity Group.
The students selected for Wings to Fly scholars will form the 12th cohort and will join the 17,304 scholars who have benefited from scholarships offered through the programme.
The Equity Group CEO said the EGF was putting more resources in expansion of scholarship programs to bring more beneficiaries on board and to cushion parents and guardians against economic aftershocks sparked off by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that the Program aims at developing the next generation of transformational leaders and will help bright needy children from poor families from primary, secondary up to university.
Boys and girls picked from the four sub-counties were selected to be sponsored.
Dr Mwangi said that the program will support the students who are economically disadvantaged to complete secondary education and access education in public universities as well as equip them with skills.
Dr Mwangi lauded the government for the 100% primary secondary transition.
“Two years ago the Government and the World Bank scaled up the Wings to Fly programs to 18,000 schools last year .Last year we gave 9,000 and this year, 9,000 scholarships. The program has brought more impact and it is significant,” he said
He said that only picked 257 from the 500 applicants.
Dr Mwangi said that young scholars need coaching, guiding, counseling and mentoring children from disadvantaged families.
West Pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo called upon leaders from the area to unite and bring investors in the County to help children from poor families to get education.
The Governor urged all education stakeholders in the area to increase bursaries for bright needy students.
Governor Lonyangapuo called upon the Government and other donors to support children in the community to access education citing that many children are in need of school fees.
He said that education is a requisite tool to success thus urged the residents to fully support education.
The County boss said that many children from the county have suffered for a long time because they lack school fees.
He said that more students from the community will be inspired by the program.
He called upon well wishers, churches, non-governmental organizations and the government to come to aid of the bright children who cannot afford to pay school fees.