2,000 KCPE students awarded Wings To Fly Secondary School Scholarships

The program achieves target of 10,000 scholarships one year ahead of target date of 2015  

January 21, 2014 Nairobi… His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta today officially commissioned the fifth class of Equity Group Foundation’s scholarship program that will fund the education of 2,000 bright pupils from needy families who completed the 2013 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.

The scholarship, popularly known as Wings to Fly, is one of Africa’s most ambitious and comprehensive secondary school scholarship that ensures bright children from financially challenged backgrounds get the chance to proceed with their education to secondary school. The program is a partnership between Equity Group Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation, with support from USAID, UKAID and KfW.

Today we are very fulfilled to see 2000 scholars join the Wings to Fly program as the fifth cohort. We are also very happy to see 35 of the inaugural class transiting to the Equity Africa Leaders Program EALP and are currently interning at Equity Bank.”

“This year marks a watershed point for Wings to Fly program as the program achieves its target of 10,000 scholars one year ahead of its target date of 2015.  Added Dr Mwangi, The Wings to Fly scholars will now an opportunity to compete equally for the competitive Equity Africa Leaders Program which benefits to top boy and girl in each district where Equity Bank has a branch. Already, the first cohort is being prepared to sit for the necessary preparation exams and to apply for admission to world leading universities.

“Wings To Fly” scholarships are awarded to top performing pupils across every district, graded in the top five percentile in the KCPE exam from financially constrained backgrounds. The scholarship pays for tuition, and other expenses associated with the cost of attending a secondary school such as boarding, books, uniform, transport costs, pocket money. In addition, the scholars receive mentoring and leadership development to equip them for their future lives.

Reeta Roy President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation thanked those who have come forward to support the program. “The MasterCard Foundation is very proud of the Wings to Fly initiative. Today, it shepherds thousands of young Kenyans through their secondary school education, through the provision of tuition, social support, and mentoring. Each of the Wings To Fly scholars we commission today has faced difficult, often daunting circumstances. But each of them had hope. Because of this hope, they know that if they work hard either in school or by lending a hand to their families or their communities their lives could improve. I would like to make an appeal to the leaders from government, business, and civil society and all Kenyans. If each of you picked one girl or one boy personally and committed to contributing to this child’s secondary education, no child will be left behind,” she said.

The introduction of free primary school education has enabled a large number of students to access primary school education since 2003. Thousands of students are unable to transit into secondary school because they cannot raise schools fees. As a result of the free primary education policy, the enrolment in Kenya dramatically increased from 5.8 million in 2003 to 8.6 million in 2008, however only 64 percent of primary students enter secondary school and even fewer graduate.

Speaking at the ceremony H.E The President Kenyatta said, “I would like to commend Equity Group Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation , USAID, UKAID & Kfw for their commitment in ensuring children from disadvantaged backgrounds also get a quality education. Our government is committed to raising the standards within our education sector with some of our plans already in the pipeline such as; raising the transition rate to secondary school to 90 per cent, building more schools in marginalized areas, increasing the number of teachers, and introducing school feeding programmes in disadvantaged regions.”

A website portal was launched where an appeal was made to support other deserving and needy children. The Donations could be made through the website http://www.wingstofly.equitygroupfoundation.com/ or

directly to the Equity Bank Account number 0810261973829 or Via cheque or Direct deposits can be made through Eazzy247 Paybill number 247247 to the same account number or M-Pesa Paybill number 247247 to the same account number i.e. 0810261973829.

-Ends-

Notes to Editor

About  Wings to Fly program

Equity Group Foundation with funding support from The MasterCard Foundation, Equity Bank, USAID, UKAid & KfW under the Wings to Fly program has been implementing a scholarship support program for top performing yet needy (orphan or vulnerable) students in the 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 aims to provide 10, 000 secondary school scholarships by 2015.

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 six 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.

Equity Group Foundation with funding support from The MasterCard Foundation, Equity Bank , USAID UKAid & KfW under the Wings to Fly program has been implementing a scholarship support program for top performing yet needy (orphan or vulnerable) students in the counties across Kenya. In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, EGF is training a targeted 1 million youth and women in financial education. The Foundation has also been instrumental in agricultural transformation under the green revolution for Africa under its Kilimo Biashara initiative in partnership with AGRA, Government of Kenya and IFAD. The Foundation focuses on six key social thematic areas of Education and Leadership development, Financial Literacy and Access, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Health, Innovation and environmental protection.

The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with more than $9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations, and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO.