Stakeholders of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme have lauded the foundation on its decennial anniversary.
The $500 million programme which began in 2012 was to identify talented young people from economically disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities, primarily in Africa, and supported their secondary and higher education as well as leadership development.
Patrick Awuah, President and Founder, Ashesi University said the programme had put beneficiaries on a level playing field, and completely changed the game for those students that needed the support.
Ann Cotton, Founder and Trustee of CAMFED International said their partnership with the programme was exceptional and had enabled them fulfill their vision for the post-secondary school years.
“Every child matters and the Foundation looks at justice in the broadest possible sense, from the most impoverished and marginalised child to the most powerful institution with whom they work. And there is authenticity at every point on that trajectory,” she added.
An alumni of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, Faith Kipkemboi, said the initiative was driving transformation in her country, Kenya.
She said it had enabled her community-based organisation, Cactus Mama, deliver evidence-based, high-quality, and affordable mental health services in remote areas, especially for women.
“We hope to create a better Kenya; a healthier Kenya,” she added.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme began with a strong focus on secondary education, working with partners such as CAMFED, BRAC, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), the African Leadership Academy (ALA), and the Equity Group Foundation (Wings to Fly) to provide young people with access to high school and improve completion rates —particularly for girls.
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy said that the foundation through its network of partners was enabling thousands of bright and deserving young people to access quality education and develop as leaders who gave back to their communities and helped to improve the lives of others.
“Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni are leaders and innovators; activists and entrepreneurs; tackling everything from climate change to health inequity. Their collective impact will be felt for generations to come,” she added.
Ms Roy said alumni of the programme had become entrepreneurs, creating over 16,000 jobs.
“In addition, 40 percent of university graduates say they are now supporting the education of their siblings,” she stated.
“Importantly, Mastercard Foundation Scholars unanimously express a strong commitment to giving back to their communities, which is a core principle of the programme,” she added.
BY TIMES REPORTER