Julia Komunga, Starehe Subcounty Director of Education giving her remarks during the 15th Annual Education and Leadership Congress held at Pangani Girls’ High School.

Equity Group Foundation (EGF) conducted its 15th Education and Leadership Congress for 23,101 ‘Elimu and Wings to Fly’scholars during the April school holiday break. Of all the scholars drawn 2,574 of these scholars drawn from all over the country  were refugees from Dadaab and Kakuma.

The theme of the   congress  was :  “Educate, empower, lead: The Triad to Success.”  It  was held for  three  days in each region.  The  congress  is a key highlight of the leadership, mentoring and social transformation programmes  run by EGF in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, Ministry of Education, the World Bank, the German Government through KfW and other partners.

EGF and Equity Bank’s staff were joined by representatives from the Ministry of Education, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Department of Refugee Services (DRS), board selection and scholarship committee members, captains of industry, academia and teacher champions from Kenya and around the world.

The Nairobi region congress hosted 3,307 scholars  attached to 46 Equity Bank branches ,  who are currently pursuing their secondary education on full scholarships.

Aaron Otieno Ombaka (right), an Equity Leaders Programme (ELP) scholar, who scored a mean grade of A from Butula Boys’ High School and aspires to join Yale University to study medicine, narrates his story alongside Equity Group Chief Operating Officer, Samuel Kirubi (left) during the 15th Annual Education and Leadership Congress held at Pangani Girls’ High School.

Wings to Fly

The Wings to Fly and Elimu scholarship programmes provide comprehensive secondary school scholarships for bright and needy students across the country. To date, EGF  and its partners has issued 60,009 comprehensive scholarships  under the Wings to Fly and the Elimu Scholarship programmes.

The congress aims at  empowering   the scholars in the five key pillars that form the basis of the programme. These include academic excellence, value-centered living, transformative leadership, giving back to society and gender sensitization.

The scholars engage with top corporate captains, government officials, religious leaders, academia, teachers and other scholars in interactive plenary sessions aimed at challenging them to be creative and innovative in driving change within their homes, schools and communities.

Timely themes

The congress theme focused on outlining the key components of scholarly excellence, values and leadership.  The daily programmes will  focus  on  inspiring   the scholars to unlock their potential and develop life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving  and resilience. The aim is to equip the scholars with a mindset of becoming principal agents of shaping their destinies through the  simple decisions that  they make in their everyday life.

In her welcoming speech, Florence Ngangari, the principal of Pangani Girls’ School, expressed the value derived from the congress, stating: “Our institution has greatly benefited from participating in this congress annually. Additionally, it has been a fruitful source of student leaders among the girls who have been part of this programme.”

Addressing the scholars, Julia Komunga, Starehe Subcounty Director of Education said: “The mentorship programmes organized by Equity Group Foundation play a key role in shaping attitudes, learning cultures and nurturing skills of students from an early age. This goes a long way towards ensuring they are better positioned to make important career choices and can comfortably adapt and solve challenges that exist within society.”

On his part Equity Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Samuel Kirubi, underscored that the aim of the programme  is to  enable the students make right decisions in future. “There have been over sixty thousand  students who have gone through this process; of these,  ninety seven  percent have completed secondary school. It is our hope that all of you will complete high school,” he said. “Always be clear on who you want to be; being clear and resilient on what you want will drive you towards your goals. Remain focused at all times and be on top of all opportunities available to you.”

Kirubi also reminded the scholars of the opportunity that await  those who score Grade ‘A’ and of joining the pre-university paid internship programme  run by Equity Bank. To date, 8,878 internships have been offered by Equity Bank. Bright students who perform  well  in  form four are further supported to access leading global universities on full scholarship.  To date, 914 scholars have proceeded to 211 universities across the world.

The holistic nature of the programme  makes it comprehensive and unique as it focuses on empowering the scholars through education, mentorship and coaching and encouraging them to invest their time in doing good by giving back to their communities.



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