This week, Equity Group Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation celebrate the 2012 intake of the Wings to Fly Scholars. The Wings to Fly program, created through a partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and Equity Group Foundation, is the largest secondary school scholarship program in Kenya. In this blog, Reeta Roy shares the stories of the scholars she is meeting this week.
Today, I visited Limuru Girls High School in Kenya where I met 31 girls who have earned “Wings to Fly” secondary scholarships. Dressed in their brown uniforms, they smiled shyly as they gathered around me under a tree on the grounds of the school. It was heartening to see their bright faces.
Elizabeth, who is in Form 2, spoke eloquently of her dream to be a neurosurgeon. “I never thought this would be possible coming from a humble background. Now this dream will be realized.”
Others piped up to say they never imagined they would be attending secondary school at all because of their economic circumstances, let alone a national school like Limuru. Diana, a prefect, said, “Knowing that someone is taking care of my schooling expenses only motivates me to study harder.” I was impressed by Christine, also a prefect, who directed her comments to Margaret Khainga, the Principal, “I love you. You are my role model!” She went on to thank her English teacher and Vice Principal for their support.
Later, I was told Christine and Diana were selected to become prefects by teachers based on their performance and leadership potential.
Limuru, founded in 1922, has an impressive graduation rate – close to 100 percent of the girls go on to university. l left with many handwritten letters containing personal words of thanks and dreams about future goals.
While intelligence and leadership potential are distributed across populations rich and poor, equality of opportunity is not. This scholarship program is helping close this divide for all to learn and prosper!