Safaricom Foundation Scholarship Programme committed to supporting 100 children through secondary school across the country set aside an amount of Ksh. 40 Million towards this initiative which has since been put in use.
Under the scholarship programme, the beneficiaries are entitled to a comprehensive foundation package of annual tuition fee, books, school uniform and Ksh 5000 per term for the purchase of key scholastic items required in school, and they are supported throughout the entire secondary program from Jan 2019 to 2022.
Faith Mwende, a beneficiary of the program from Makueni County shares about her life before joining the programme and how she maximising on the opportunity to achieve her career dreams and support her unrelenting family.
“My dad passed on when I was young and my mum had to raise my brother and me single-handedly with no decent job,” Mwende narrates.
But for Mwende a financially challenged home meant nothing but hard work come what may. Mwende was not so lucky to have it all spoon-fed to her and all too often she lacked food and stationery. Being the first born, she had to accompany her mom to casual jobs of farming and doing laundry for neighbours.
She managed to perform well to move to the next level, but her mother told her to repeat class seven hoping that she could save enough to put her through class eight and high school. Mwende agreed to her proposition.
Her mother Anastasia, then approached her teacher and explained her financial situation with the faith that something will work out.
“I went to one of her teachers and told him that my daughter has been performing well and if he could help her get a sponsorship to go through high school because that was a burden I could not manage by myself,” explains her mother.
In July, Mwende’s mother learnt about Safaricom Foundation Scholarship Program through her teacher and together with seven others from her school they sent their application.
From her first term in class eight, Mwende topped and managed to score 345 in KCPE only to be called for an interview into the program.
” I was asked to draw a map to my home. And the following day, Safaricom guys came over, to tell me the good news. I could not believe that I made it. I was so happy,” says Mwende.
Besides academic support, Mwende is entitled to a free leadership development training, mentorship and career guidance to attain her full potential, from volunteer Safaricom employees who are already under training on capacity building.
” I will be forever grateful to Safaricom for putting Mwende through school, something which could have been a big challenge to me. I thank God for this blessing to my family,” notes Anastasia
Mwende harbours the dream of becoming an accountant when she grows up and hopes to support her family. In her first term in form one, she scored an A-minus. Maths and Business are Mwende’s favourite subjects.