By Claire Wanja
Equity Bank’s airlift program to global universities has Thursday hit 400 scholars who have so far benefitted from the initiative. The program supports scholars to secure full scholarships from leading institutions globally.
The current total value of the scholarships to date stands at nearly Kshs 10 billion (USD 100 million). This caters for tuition, air tickets and related expenses while at the respective universities for the entire period of studies.
The Bank further extended a stipend of between Kshs 100,000 and Kshs 200,000 to each of the 73 scholars leaving the country totaling to Kshs 2.1 million for their travel and other essentials.
Speaking during the send-off ceremony, Equity Group CEO and Executive Chairman of Equity Group Foundation Dr. James Mwangi advised the scholars to focus on academic pursuit, leadership training, networking and global transformational exposure in order to excel in their respective academic areas.
“In each of us there is a seed of leadership and greatness that needs to be nurtured and that’s what the program seeks to achieve. You will be exposed to numerous opportunities to build global networks and experiences. These experiences will shape your mindset and set you on a path to influence your community and society contributing to the socio-economic transformation of our country. The ELP programme is in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030 of transforming Kenya into a globally competitive middle income economy,” Dr. Mwangi said.
The Equity Leaders Program (ELP) starts as a transition pre-university programme from the successful Wings to Fly Secondary School Scholarship Program for bright gifted but financially challenged children executed by Equity Group in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation with support of USAID, UKAID and KfW. The Bank also selects the top performing students in all the counties who are also absorbed into ELP. To date, 5,060 scholars have been enrolled into ELP with 2,343 drawn from the Wings to Fly Program.
Some of the top universities the 73 scholars will be joining this year include Princeton, Yale, Amherst, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, University of Toronto, Michigan State University, University of Edinburg, Carnegie Mellon University, among others.