Wings to fly programme, a comprehensive secondary school education and leadership programme for top performing yet needy students in Kenya has awarded scholarships to 1000 students, out of nearly 20,000 applications the Equity Group Foundation received across the country. The event commemorated the 10th intake since the onset of the programme in 2010. Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, education Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed noted that Wings to Fly programme has continued to greatly impact on the lives of bright students from vulnerable backgrounds, who would have otherwise missed the opportunity to explore their talents.
Catalyst of change
Equity Group Holdings CEO and MD and Equity Group Foundation Executive Chairman Dr. James Mwangi advised the students to take up the opportunity with pride and remember that it comes with high expectations. “This scholarship opportunity demands from all of you a strong commitment and a sense of responsibility. You are going out there to become our ambassadors and role models for our young people across the country,” he said. Dr, Mwangi also urged the students to be catalysts of change in the lives of their families and the society.
According to Mastercard Foundation President & CEO Reeta Roy, Mastercard’s support is geared towards ensuring that academically talented students from disadvantaged or marginalized communities are able to attend quality educational institutions, and can develop the knowledge and skills they need to join the next generation of ethical leaders. “The vision of Mastercard Foundation is that these young people will make a lasting impact in their communities and regions, ushering in a new era of equitable and inclusive prosperity,” Reeta said.
The total number of scholarships given under the Wings to Fly Programme since 2010 currently stands at 16,168, giving students opportunities to interact with mentors, professionals, thought leaders, influencers and captains of industry thus becoming encouraged and growing to take up leadership roles in schools and in society. On average, 86% of the scholars hold one or several leadership positions during their secondary school academic life. Further, the programme records a 96% secondary school completion rate with 82% of the scholars attaining university admission qualifying grades.
The Wings to Fly Programme is a partnership between Equity Group and MasterCard Foundation, with support of other partners including the German Government through KfW. It is coordinated by Equity Group Foundation. The objective of the scholarship programme is to provide financial support and leadership empowerment tools to various beneficiaries.