In a huge stride towards educational equity, the Equity Group Foundation’s (EGF) Wings to Fly program has awarded comprehensive four-year secondary school scholarships to the top 1,000 performers in the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).
In a plan to prepare them for school life, these academically gifted yet financially challenged scholars from across Kenya have undergone a two-day induction and training program.
This programm was to prepare them for the challenges of high school, such as reading and studying techniques, school performance expectations, and a deep dive on Equity Group’s Academic Policy and Code of Conduct.
The Wings to Fly program, an initiative of Equity Group Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, and support from partners including the German Government through KfW, USAID, UKAID, and individuals, offers comprehensive secondary school scholarships.
To date, the program has benefited 60,009 students and enjoys a secondary school completion rate of 97 percent since its inception. An impressive 82% of graduating students achieve university entry grades, underscoring the program’s commitment to academic excellence.
Beyond scholarships, beneficiaries receive revision books, school uniforms, transportation, pocket money, and scheduled mentorship and leadership training sessions.
This approach ensures that scholars are well-equipped for academic success and personal development, creating well-rounded individuals prepared to navigate future challenges.
Government and Corporate Recognition
The impact of the Wings to Fly program has earned recognition from the Kenyan government, emphasizing the potential of well-structured public-private partnerships.
The Education Cabinet Secretary, represented by Elijah Mungai, commended the initiative, urging other corporates to contribute to Kenya’s socio-economic development. The program has also garnered praise from Johnson Sakaja, Governor of Nairobi County, who emphasized its transformative effect on the lives of thousands of young Kenyans.
The Wings to Fly program has thrived due to international collaborations. Mr. Oskar von Maltzan, the KfW Development Bank Country Director, highlighted the program’s successes and KfW’s contribution of about 5,000 scholarships, totaling Kes4 billion of grant funds from the German Government.
The program’s success is attributed to a rigorous selection process, involving community-based verification and monitoring. Community Scholarship Selection Boards (CSSBs) across the country review applications, conduct face-to-face interviews and make home visits to ensure scholarships are awarded to the most deserving scholars.
The Wings to Fly program serves as a pathway to the Equity Leaders Program (ELP), providing opportunities for scholars to access public universities and nurturing leadership skills.
So far, the program has witnessed 18,735 scholars entering university, with some benefiting from internships at Equity Bank and others enrolling in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. Notably, 890 ELP scholars secured fully funded scholarships at 201 leading global universities, including Ivy League institutions.
EGF’s commitment extends beyond education to entrepreneurship and innovation. ELP alumni are supported to set up and grow businesses, contributing to socio-economic development.
Success stories like Eliud Njogu, founder of E&M Technology, and Paul Kimani, leading Workpay, showcase the transformative power of education in fostering a new generation of African entrepreneurs and innovators.