2,000 academically promising scholars from needy backgrounds will benefit from comprehensive secondary school scholarships in the 2022/2023 Form One selection cycles fully funded by Equity Bank. The Bank has contributed KShs 2 billion to Equity Group Foundation (EGF), the social impact arm of the Group in support of the Wings to Fly program that has successfully facilitated over 37,000 beneficiaries to access quality secondary school education in collaboration with other partners such as Mastercard Foundation, KfW, USAID, UKAID/DfID, World Bank/Government of Kenya, among others. The additional scholarships from Equity Bank bring the total scholarships so far implemented by EGF to 39,009.
Access to quality secondary school education remains a distant dream for many and especially the vulnerable in our communities. For the 2021 academic year, EGF had 10,705 slots for scholarship programs but received over 114,000 applications – the highest demonstrated level of need. This meant that the community scholarship selection boards had to identify 1 child from every 11 applications. It was disheartening for the deserving tens of thousands who were not fortunate to secure the scholarships and had no means of affording their secondary education. This is the call that Equity Bank is responding to by offering these scholarships.
The Wings to Fly program has distinguished itself as a watershed in developing the next generation of leaders. Through a comprehensive scholarship that offers full tuition, upkeep, shopping as well as a leadership training and mentorship, the program has continued to produce some of the best performing students in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E.) examination.
Equity Group Foundation Executive Chairman, Dr. James Mwangi emphasized, “Education remains a high impact tool in transforming society, one child at a time. The cumulative effect is transformation of lives and livelihoods.” He noted that the bank continues to support not only in Wings to Fly but also in the Equity Leaders Program which has placed close to 7,000 scholars on paid internship thus providing a path where the top performing students transition from learning to earning soon after receiving their KCSE results. Over 17,000 students from both the Wings to Fly and Equity Leadership Programmes have accessed university education with 900 having been admitted to international universities in 26 countries.
“As we look forward to another selection this year, Equity Group Foundation will continue working with community scholarship selection boards on selection an extended partnership that promotes mentorship and coaching for the next generation of leaders” Dr. Mwangi added.
The Equity Leadership Program scholars who have finished their medical degrees have already established 54 Equity Afia Medical Clinics to give back to society by offering affordable high quality health services. Last year the clinics received 701,000 patient visits.
He pointed out, “Equity Group continues to invest in its connection to the community. We are delighted that through the additional scholarships 2,000 children are assured of quality high school education. We are grateful for the opportunity to empower the youth of this country and give them the Wings to Fly and to realize their dreams and impact at a global level.”
The 2,000 scholarships will be distributed over the next two Form One intakes to coincide with the last cohorts of Kenya’s 8.4.4. system of education after which the country transitions to the competency base curriculum.